Rothamsted Research

where knowledge grows


Jing-Jiang Zhou

Senior Research Scientist
Biointeractions and Crop Protection


Research Interests

My works focus on insect olfactory systems, specifically its molecular mechanisms and metabolic basis of responses to semiochemicals (plant volatiles and insect pheromones) by insects. The aim of my group is to dissect signalling pathways leading to insect olfaction fundamental to plant- and human-insect interactions. We hope to learn which components are involved in signalling pathways of insect behaviour-specific response to semiochemicals - in particular plant and human volatiles. The long objectives of the researches is to search for alternative pest control strategies to pesticides and environmentally friendly eco pest management, as well as sensory systems such as protein based biosensors using insect sensory proteins for pest forecasting and harmful chemical detection.


Contributions to Insect Molecular Biology Group

I helped the group to obtain the first BBSRC standard grant and the first EU grant after jointed the group in 2001. I initiated genome wide approaches and established an international reputation in the research on insect odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) in a very short time. I also played a very important role in several insect genome sequencing consortiums and a leading scientist in insect OBP gene annotation. My work is publised in BBC news and other 10 websites. One of papers was the top 10 article downloaded from Wesley Publisher website in 2006.


+44 (0) 1582 763 133 ext: +44 1582 938147
Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire, AL5 2JQ
Past Projects
Project Leader
  • The functional roles of odorant binding proteins in fruitfly olfaction
  • Functional roles of olfactory receptors and odorant binding proteins in wasps
  • UK China collaboration for production of biologically active homoisoprenoids and their eventual use for pest control
  • The molecular basis of responses by insects to semiochemicals
  • European Network for advanced research on olfaction for Malaria transmitting insect control (ENAROMATIC)
  • Innovative approaches to pest management
  • Brazil-UK Partnership on Delivering Pest Resilience in Brazilian Smallholder Maize Crops

Li et al., (2017) Expression of Lima Bean Terpene Synthases in Rice Enhances Recruitment of a Beneficial Enemy of a Major Rice Pest. Plant, Cell and Environment. (accepted).


Wang et al., (2017) Identification and expression profile analysis of odorant binding protein and chemosensory protein genes in Bemisia tabaci MED by head transcriptome. PLoS ONE 12(2):e0171739 · February 2017.

Dong et al., (2017) RNAi-Induced Electrophysiological and Behavioral Changes Reveal two Pheromone Binding Proteins of Helicoverpa armigera Involved in the Perception of the Main Sex Pheromone Component Z11-16:Ald. Journal of Chemical Ecology January 2017 .DOI: 10.1007/s10886-016-0816-6.

Eyres et al., (2016) Differential gene expression according to race and host plant in the pea aphid. Molecular Ecology 25:4197–4215.


Kanost et al., (2016) Multifaceted biological insights from a draft genome sequence of the tobacco hornworm moth, Manduca sexta. Insect biochemistry and molecular biology 76:1-30.

Benoit  et al., (2016) Unique features of a global human ectoparasite identified through sequencing of the bed bug genome. Nature Communication  7:10165 doi:10.1038/ncomms10165. 

Cristiano et al., (2016) Validation of reference genes for qRT-PCR analysis in Megoura viciae (Hemiptera Aphididae). Bulletin of Insectology 69:229-238.


Northey  et al. (2016) Crystal Structures and Binding Dynamics of Odorant-Binding Protein 3 from two aphid species  Megoura viciae and  Nasonovia ribisnigri Scientific Reports 6: 24739; doi: 10.1038/srep24739.

Venthur  et al. (2016) β-Ionone as putative semiochemical suggested by ligand binding on an odorant-binding protein of Hylamorpha elegans and electroantennographic recordings.  Entomological Science 19:188-200.DOI: 10.1111/ens.12180.

Duvaux  et al. (2015) Dynamics of Copy Number Variation in Host Races of the Pea Aphid.  Molecular Biology and Evolution  32:63-80.


Huang et al., (2015) Dynamic transcriptome analysis and volatile profiling of Gossypium hirsutum in response to the cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera. Scientific Reports5:11867.


Gu  et al., (2015)  Identification and comparative expression analysis of odorant binding protein genes in the tobacco cutworm  Spodoptera litura.   Scientific Reports 5:13800.doi: 10.1038/srep13800.


Vogt  et al., (2015) The Lepidoptera Odorant Binding Protein gene family: Gene gain and loss within the GOBP/PBP complex of moths and butterflies.  Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.62:142-53.


Wang  et al., (2015) Identification and Expression Analysis of Putative Chemosensory Receptor Genes in  Microplitis mediator by Antennal Transcriptome Screening.  International Journal of Biological Sciences  11(7): 737-751.


Sun  et al. (2015) Chemosensillum immunolocalization and ligand specificity of chemosensory proteins in the alfalfa plant bug Adelphocoris lineolatus (Goeze).  Scientific Reports  5:8073-8085.


Venthur  et al., (2015) β-ionone as putative semiochemical suggested by ligand binding on the odorant-binding protein 1 of  Hylamorpha elegans (Burmeister) and electroantennographic recordings.Entomological Science 18:532-568.


Zhang  et al., (2015) Genes encoding farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase (FPS) in wheat: molecular characterizations and evidence for their involvement in defense elicited against aphid infestation.  New Phytologist doi: 10.1111/nph.13302.


Zhang  et al., (2015) Molecular and Funational Characterisation of a candidate sex pheromone receptor OR1 in  Spodoptera litura Insect Science. doi:10.1111/1744-7917.12294.


International Glossina Genome Initiative (2014) Genome sequence of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans): vector of African trypanosomiasis.  Science  344:380-386.


Venthurh H., Mutis A., Quiroza A., Zhou J-J. (2014) Ligand binding and homology modelling of insect odorant-binding proteins.  Physiological Entomology  39:183-198.


Siciliano P, He X.L., Woodcock C., Pickett J.A., Field L.M., Birkett M.A., Kalinova B., Gomulski L.M., Scolari F., Gasperi G., Malacrida A.R.,  Zhou J-J. *(2014) Identification of Pheromone Components and their Binding Affinity to the Odorant Binding  Protein CcapOBP83a-2 of the Mediterranean Fruit Fly, Ceratitis capitata.  Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 48:51-62.


Ma L, Gu H-S, Liu Z-W, Wang S-N, Guo Y-Y, Zhou J-J*, Zhang Y-J  (2014) Molecular characterization and expression profiles of olfactory receptor genes in the parasitic wasp, Microplitis mediator (Hymenoptera: Braconidae).  Journal of Insect Physiology 60:118-26.


Siciliano P, Scolari F, Gomulski LM, Falchetto M, Manni M, Gabrieli P, Field LM,  Zhou JJ, Gasperi G, Malacrida AR. (2014)  Sniffing Out Chemosensory Genes from the Mediterranean Fruit Fly,  Ceratitis capitataPLoS One 9(1):e85523.


Zhou Y-L,  Zhu X-Q, Gu S-H, Cui H-H, Guo Y-Y, Zhou J-J*, Y-J Zhang  (2013)  Silencing in Apolygus lucorum of the olfactory coreceptor Orco gene by RNA interference induces EAG response declining to two putative semiochemicals.  Journal of Insect Physiology 60:31-9.


Gu S-H, Wu K-M, Guo Y-Y, Field LM, Pickett JA, Zhang Y-J,  Zhou J-J* (2013) Identification of genes expressed in the sex pheromone gland of the black cutworm  Agrotis ipsilon with putative roles in sex pheromone biosynthesis and transport. BMC Genomics 14(1):636-643. 


Gu S-H, Wu K-M, Guo Y-Y, Field LM, Pickett JA, Zhang Y-J,  Zhou J-J* (2013) Identification and expression profiling of odorant binding proteins and chemosensory proteins between two wingless morphs and a winged morph of the cotton aphid  Aphis gossypii Glover. PLoS ONE 8(9):e73524. 


Sun L, Gu S-H, Xiao H-J,  Zhou J-J, Guo Y-Y, Liu Z-W, Zhang Y-J (2013) The preferential binding of a sensory organ specific odorant binding protein of the alfalfa plant bug Adelphocoris lineolatusAlinOBP10 to biologically active host plant volatiles.  J. Chem. Ecology 39(9):1221-1231.


Zhang Y-N, Jin J-Y, Jin R, Xia Y-N,  Zhou J-J, Deng J-Y, Dong S-L (2013) Differential Expression Patterns in Chemosensory and Non-Chemosensory Tissues of Putative Chemosensory Genes Identified by Transcriptome Analysis of Insect Pest the Purple Stem Borer  Sesamia inferens (Walker).PLoS ONE 8(7): e69715. 


Zhou J-J, Gu S-H, Wang G-R, Zhang Y.J., Guo Y-Y (2013) Sex pheromone recognition and immunolocalization of three pheromone binding proteins in the black cutworm moth  Agrotis ipsilon. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 43(3):237-51.


Sun M, Liu Y, Walker W.B., Liu C., Lin K., Gu S.,  Zhou J-J., Wang G.  (2013) Identification and characterization of Pheromone Receptors and Interplay between Receptors and Pheromone Binding Proteins in the Diamondback Moth,  Plutella xyllostella. PLoS ONE 8(4): e62098. doi:10.1371.


Zha H-G, Liu T, Sun H, Zhou J-J* (2013) Molecular identification and characterization of a desiccation related protein MS-desi in the floral nectar of a bean species (Mucuna sempervirens Hemsl).  PlantaDOI 10.1007/s00425-013-1876-2. 


Wang S-Y, Gu S-H, Han L, Guo Y-Y, Zhang Y-J,  Zhou J-J* (2013) Specific involvement of two amino acid residues in  cis-nerolidol binding to the odorant binding protein 5 AlinOBP5 in the alfalfa plant bug,Adelphocoris lineolatus (Goeze).  Insect Molecular Biology. 22(2):172-82. 


Gu S-H, Yang R-N, Guo M-B, Wang G-R, Wu K-M, Guo Y-Y, Zhang Y-J,  Zhou J-J* (2013) Molecular identification and differential expression of sensory neuron membrane proteins in the antennae of the black cutworm moth  Agrotis ipsilon Insect Physiology 59(4):430-43. 


Wu Z-N, Chen X., Du Y-J.,  Zhou J-J and ZhuGe Q-C (2013) Molecular identification and characterization of the Orco orthologue of  Spodoptera litura Insect Science 20(2):175-82. 


Ping Ji, Shao-Hua Gu, Jing-Tao Liu, Xiao-Qiang Zhu, Yu-Yuan Guo,  Jing-Jiang Zhou*, Yong-Jun Zhang  (2013) Identification and expression profile analysis of odorant-binding protein genes in Apolygus lucorum (Hemiptera: Miridae).  Applied Entomology and Zoology 48(3).


Vieira F.G., Forêt S., He X.L., Rozas J., Field L.M.,  Zhou J-J* (2012) Unique features of odorant binding proteins revealed by genome annotation and comparative analyses of the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis.  PLoS ONE. 7(8): e43034. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.


Gu S-H, Wang S-Y, Zhang X-Y, Ji P, Liu J-T, Wang G-R, Wu K-M, Guo Y-Y,  Zhou J-J*, Zhang Y-J,*(2012) Functional Characterizations of Chemosensory Proteins of the alfalfa plant bug Adelphocoris lineolatus indicate their Involvement in Host Recognition.  PLoS  ONE. 7(8): e42871. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042871. 


Liu R, He X, Lehane S, Lehane M, Hertz-Fowler C, Berriman M, Field LM,  Zhou J-J* (2012) Expression  of chemosensory proteins in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans is related to female host-seeking behaviour.  Insect Mol Biol. 21:41-8. 


Smadja C.M., Canbäck B., Vitalis R., Gautier M., Ferrari J,  Zhou J-J., Butlin R.K.  (2012). Large-scale candidate gene scan reveals the role of chemoreceptor genes in host 2 plant specialisation and speciation in the pea aphid.  Evolution. 66(9):2723-38. 


Aline S. Borer, Donald R. Hoffman, Tilman Schirmer, Paul Wassmann, Margit Schmidt,  Jing-Jiang Zhou, Christine Wright, and Zora Markovi-Housley  (2012) Crystal Structure of Sol i 2: A Major Allergen from Fire Ant Venom.  J. Mol. Biol. 415, 635–648. 


Lagarde A, Spinelli S, Tegoni M, He X, Field L,  Zhou JJ, Cambillau C.  (2011) The crystal structure of odorant binding protein 7 from Anopheles gambiae exhibits an outstanding adaptability of its binding site.  J Mol Biol. 414(3):401-12. 


Shao-Hua Gu, Shu-Ping Wang, Xue-Ying Zhang, Kong-Ming Wu, Yu-Yuan Guo, Yong-Jun Zhang,Jing-Jiang Zhou* (2011). Identification and tissue distribution of odorant binding protein genes in the lucerne plant bug Adelphocoris lineolatus (Goeze).  Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 41:254-263.


Shao-Hua Gu, Wei-Xuan Wang, Gui-Rong Wang, Xue-Ying Zhang, and Yu-Yuan Guo, Ziding Zhang,Jing-Jiang Zhou* and Yong-Jun Zhang* (2011) Functional Characterization and Immunolocalization of Odorant Binding Protein 1 in the Lucerne Plant Bug, Adelphocoris lineolatus (Goeze).  Archives of Insect Biochemistry and Physiology. 77(2):81-99.


Amandine Lagarde, Silvia Spinelli, Mariella Tegoni, Xiaoli He, Lin Field,  Jing-Jiang Zhou and Christian Cambillau  (2011) The Crystal Structure of Odorant Binding Protein 7 from Anopheles gambiae Exhibits an Outstanding Adaptability of Its Binding Site.  J. Mol. Biol. 414:401–412. 


Jing-Jiang Zhou*, Filipe G. Vieira, Xiao-Li He, Carole Smadja, Renhu Liu, Julio Rozas and Linda M. Field. (2010). Genome annotation and comparative analyses of the odorant-binding proteins and chemosensory proteins in the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum.  Insect Mol Biol Suppl 2:113-22. 


The International Aphid Genomics Consortium. (2010). Genome Sequence of the Pea Aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum.  PLoS Biology. 8(2):e1000313. 


Renhu Liu, Stella Lehane, Xiaoli He, Mike Lehane, Christiane Hertz-Fowler, Matthew Berriman, John A. Pickett, Linda M. Field and Jing-Jiang Zhou*. (2010). Characterisations of odorant-binding proteins in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans.  Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 67(6):919-929. 


He, X., Tzotzos, G., Woodcock, C., Pickett, J.A., Hooper, T., Field, L.M., Zhou, J-J*. (2010). Binding of the General Odorant Binding Protein of Bombyx mori BmorGOBP2 to the Moth Sex Pheromone Components.  J Chem Ecol. 36(12):1293-305. 


Jing-Jiang Zhou*, Linda M. Field and Xiao Li He. (2010). Insect odorant-binding proteins: do they offer an alternative pest control strategy?  Outlooks on Pest Management. 21(1):31-34. 


Jing-Jiang Zhou. (2010). Odorant-binding proteins in insects.  Vitam Horm. 83:241-72. Review. 


Zhou, J-J, Robertson, G., He X., Dufour, S., Hooper, A., Pickett, J.A., Keep, N.H. and Field, L.M. (2009). Identification and characterization of Bombyx mori odorant-binding proteins reveals that a ‘general odorant-binding protein’ can discriminate between sex pheromone components.  J. Mol. Biol. 389: 529-545.


Hooper, A.M., Dufour, S., Zhou, J-J., He, X., Muck, A., Field, L.M., Svatos, A. and Pickett, J.A. (2009). High-throughput ESI-MS analysis of binding between the pheromone-binding protein BmorPBP1 of Bombyx mori, its pheromone components and some analogues. Chem Commun (Camb). 14,5725-7.


Qiao, H., Tuccori, E., He, X., Gazzano, A., Field, L., Zhou, J-J and Pelosi, P. (2009). Discrimination of alarm pheromone (E)-β-farnesene by aphid odorant-binding proteins. Ins. Bioc. Mol. Biol. 39, 414-419. 


Pickett, J.A.. Birkett, M.A Woodcock C.M. and Zhou, J-J. (2009). Insect pheromones: scents and sex. The Biochemical Society 31:2 28-32. 


Zhou, J-J., He, X.L., Pickett, J.A. and Field, L.M. (2008). Identification of odorant binding proteins of the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti: Genome annotation and comparative analyses. Ins. Mol. Biol. 17, 147-163. 


Li S, Picimbon JF, Ji S, Kan Y, Chuanling Q, Zhou J-J, Pelosi P. (2008) Multiple functions of an odorant-binding protein in the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 372(3):464-8. 


Yao LG, Liu ZC, Zhang XM, Kan YC, Zhou J-J. (2007). A high efficient method for generation of recombinant Bombyx mori nuclear polyhedrosis Virus Bacmid and large-scale expression of foreign proteins in silkworm larvae.  Biotechnol Appl Biochem. 48 (1):45-53. 


Zhou, J-J, Kan, Y., Antoniw, J., Pickett, J.A. and Field, L.M. (2006). Genome and EST analyses and expression of a gene family with putative functions in insect chemoreception.  Chemical Senses 31, 453-465. 


Pelosi P, Zhou J-J, Ban LP, Calvello M. (2006). Soluble proteins in insect chemical communication. Cell Mol Life Sci. 63(13):1460-1466. Review


Li, Z-X., Pickett, J.A., Field, L.M. and Zhou, J-J. (2005). Identification and expression of odorant-binding proteins of the malaria-carrying mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles arabiensis. Arch. Insect Biochem. Physiol. 58, 175-189. The top 10 article downloaded from Wesley website in 2006.


Jacobs, S.P., Liggins, A.P., Zhou, J-J, Pickett, J.A., Pelosi, P. and Field, L.M. (2005). OS-D-like genes and their expression in aphids (Hemiptera:Aphididae). Ins. Mol. Biol. 14, 423-432.


Tong, Y; Zhou, JJ; Li, ZS; Miller, AJ. (2005). A two-component high-affinity nitrate uptake system in barley. Plant Journal 41 (3): 442-450. 


Zhou, JJ; Huang, WS; Zhang, GA; Pickett, JA; Field, LM. (2004). "Plus-C" odorant-binding protein genes in two Drosophila species and the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Gene 327 (1): 117-129. 


Li, ZX; Zhou, JJ; Shen, ZR; Field, L. (2004). Bioinformatics-based identification of chemosensory proteins in the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Genomics, Proteomics & Bioinformatics 1(4): 288-298. 


Li, ZX; Zhou, JJ; Shen, ZR; Field, L. (2004). Identification and expression profiling of putative odorant-binding proteins in the malaria mosquitoes, Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis. Science in China Series C-Life Sciences 47 (6): 567-576. 


Zhou, JJ; Zhang, GA; Huang, WS; Birkett, MA; Field, LM; Pickett, JA; Pelosi, P. (2004). Revisiting the odorant-binding protein LUSH of Drosophila melanogaster: evidence for odour recognition and discrimination. FEBS Letters 558 (1-3): 23-26. 


Field, L.M., Jacobs, S.P., Zhou, J-J. and Pickett, J.A. (2003). Odorant-binding proteins and chemosensory proteins in Drosophila and aphids. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. part A, S65. 


Miller, AJ; Zhou, JJ. (2000). Xenopus oocytes as an expression system for plant transporters. Biochimica et Biophysica acta-Biomembranes 1465 (1-2): 343-358. Review. 


Zhou, JJ; Trueman, LJ; Boorer, KJ; Theodoulou, FL; Forde, BG; Miller, AJ. (2000). A high affinity fungal nitrate carrier with two transport mechanisms. Journal of Biological Chemistry 275 (51): 39894-39899. 


Zhou, JJ; Fernandez, E; Galvan, A; Miller, AJ. (2000). A high affinity nitrate transport system from Chlamydomonas requires two gene products. FEBS Lellers 466 (2-3): 225-227. 


Zhou, JJ; Theodoulou, FL; Muldin, I; Ingemarsson, B; Miller, AJ. (1998). Cloning and functional characterization of a Brassica napus transporter that is able to transport nitrate and histidine. Journal of Biological Chemistry 273 (20): 12017-12023.


Zhou, JJ; Theodoulou, F; Sauer, N; Sanders, D; Miller, AJ. (1997). A kinetic model with ordered cytoplasmic dissociation for SUC1, an Arabidopsis H+/sucrose cotransporter expressed in Xenopus oocytes. Journal of Membrane Biology 159 (2): 113-125.


Zhou J.J. and G.N.J. Le Patourel. (1990). Hatching of oothecae from female Blattella germanica (L.) exposed to hygramethylnon and boric acid baits. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 54:131-140.


G.N.J.Le Patourel and Zhou J.J. (1990). Action of Amorphous dust against the German cockroaches, Blattella germanica (L.). Bull. Entomol. Res. 80:11-17.
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































DIC in Biology (Department of Pure and Applied Biology, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London, UK.)


PhD in The mode of action of pyrethoid pesticides on German cockroaches (Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London University, UK)


BSc in Pesticide toxicology (Peking University, Beijing, P.R. China.)

Measures of esteem


  • Novel Structureal features of Insect Odorant Binidng Proteins and their Involvement in Ligand Binding: XVI International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Genome Annotation of Insect Olfactory Binding Proteins: Royal Entomological Society Annual National Science Meeting, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
  • Group Member: Odorant Binding Proteins Annotation, the International Tsetse Fly Genomics Consortium
  • Rothamsted Research and Chinese Collaboration in Chemical Ecology Research: The 9th Science Meeting of China Association of Chemical Ecology, Shenyang, China
  • GenomeAnnotation and Funtional Genomics of Insect Olfactory Binding Proteins: XXIV International Congress of Entomology, Daegu, Korea


  • Member: The European Chemoreception Research Organisation
  • Expert Evaluator: The National Council for Scientific Research, Romanian
  • Group Member: Genes involved in antennal function/olfaction, the International Manduca Genomics Consortium
  • Grant Reviewer: ZonMw TOP subsidies 40-00812-98-11038. The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw)


  • Member: The Biochemical Society. Membership Number: 01024565
  • Guest Profesor: Institute of Plant Protection, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China
  • Explore environmentally Friendly Pest Control Strategy-Chemical Ecology at Rothamsted: The 8th National Congress of Chemical Ecology of China


  • Fellow of Royal Entomology Society: The Royal Society, UK
  • Genome annotation and comparative analyses of t: 2nd International Aphid Genome Workshop. Spain. 2009
  • Bombyx mori Odorant-binding Proteins Reveals that: Annual Meeting, International Society of Chemical Ecology, Sweden.


  • Panel Member of Major Grant Review: Chinese National Science Foundation
  • Panel Member of Changjian Scholars Program: Ministry of Education, China
  • Group Leader: Aphid Odorant Binding Protein Annotation Group, the International Aphid Genomics Consortium


  • Guest Profesor: Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China


  • Publication: 12 first author papers, 9 corresponding author papers, 2 review papers.
  • H Factor: H index=11; Total Papers=23; Max cites=61; No cites>10=12.