Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fruity aromas: An aphrodisiac for flies

Date:
October 3, 2011
Source:
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange)
Summary:
The smell of food acts as an aphrodisiac for Drosophila (vinegar flies). Scientists have brought to light a novel olfactory perception mechanism: male flies use a scent derived from the fruit that they eat to stimulate their sexual appetite.

Drosophila on fruit.
Credit: © C. Everaerts, CSGA (CNRS/UB/INRA)

The smell of food acts as an aphrodisiac for Drosophila (vinegar flies). A European team headed by CNRS researchers from the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation (CNRS/Université de Bourgogne/INRA) has brought to light a novel olfactory perception mechanism: male flies use a scent derived from the fruit that they eat to stimulate their sexual appetite. These works are published on-line on 28 September 2011 in the journal /Nature/.

Related Articles


An unexpected olfactory perception mechanism in male vinegar flies (/Drosophila melanogaster/) leading to their sexual stimulation has been identified and analyzed by CNRS researchers from the Centre des Sciences du Goût et de l'Alimentation (CNRS/Université de Bourgogne/INRA) in Dijon, in collaboration with a Swiss laboratory at Lausanne University and a British team in Cambridge. The scientists have shown that phenylacetic acid, a molecule associated with food-derived odors (present in flowers, fruit, honey, etc.) appends itself to a specific olfactory molecular receptor (IR84a) situated on male flies' antennae. Detection of this particular scent by this specific receptor triggers the significant activation of some thirty specific neurons, which sets off a defined neuronal circuit resultingin increased sexual arousal of the male fly.

Described for the first time, the olfactory molecular receptor IR84a maintains the sensorial neurons permanently active, even without odor, so as to keep the male flies ready to attract a potential partner. In this way, the more "perfumed" (with phenylacetic acid) the partner, the more attractive it will be, thereby greatly increasing the insect's sexual arousal. This is proved by genetically deleting theexpression of the receptor, which considerably reduces the sexual activity of the male flies (both with and without "perfume").

This olfactory perception mechanism is especially important in "fruit fly" species in the wider sense: the advantage of mating near food sources is obvious for the offspring. Additional work could help to discover similar mechanisms in other animal species.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yael Grosjean, Raphael Rytz, Jean-Pierre Farine, Liliane Abuin, Jérôme Cortot, Gregory S. X. E. Jefferis, Richard Benton. An olfactory receptor for food-derived odours promotes male courtship in Drosophila. Nature, 2011; DOI: 10.1038/nature10428

Cite This Page:

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Fruity aromas: An aphrodisiac for flies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930153012.htm>.
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). (2011, October 3). Fruity aromas: An aphrodisiac for flies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930153012.htm
CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange). "Fruity aromas: An aphrodisiac for flies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110930153012.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins