An inhibitory sex pheromone tastes bitter for Drosophila males

Fabien Lacaille, Makoto Hiroi, Robert Twele, Tsuyoshi Inoshita, Daisuke Umemoto, Gérard Manière, Frédéric Marion-Poll, Mamiko Ozaki, Wittko Francke, Matthew Cobb, Claude Everaerts, Teiichi Tanimura, Jean François Ferveur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sexual behavior requires animals to distinguish between the sexes and to respond appropriately to each of them. In Drosophila melanogaster, as in many insects, cuticular hydrocarbons are thought to be involved in sex recognition and in mating behavior, but there is no direct neuronal evidence of their pheromonal effect. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures of responses to natural and synthetic compounds, we show that Z-7-tricosene, a Drosophila male cuticular hydrocarbon, acts as a sex pheromone and inhibits male-male courtship. These data provide the first direct demonstration that an insect cuticular hydrocarbon is detected as a sex pheromone. Intriguingly, we show that a particular type of gustatory neurons of the labial palps respond both to Z-7-tricosene and to bitter stimuli. Cross-adaptation between Z-7-tricosene and bitter stimuli further indicates that these two very different substances are processed by the same neural pathways. Furthermore, the two substances induced similar behavioral responses both in courtship and feeding tests. We conclude that the inhibitory pheromone tastes bitter to the fly.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere661
JournalPloS one
Volume2
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 15 2007

Fingerprint

Sex Attractants
sex pheromones
Hydrocarbons
Drosophila
hydrocarbons
Courtship
courtship
Animal Sexual Behavior
Insects
neural pathways
Neural Pathways
insects
gender
Pheromones
palps
sexual behavior
lips
Lip
Drosophila melanogaster
mating behavior

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this

Lacaille, F., Hiroi, M., Twele, R., Inoshita, T., Umemoto, D., Manière, G., ... Ferveur, J. F. (2007). An inhibitory sex pheromone tastes bitter for Drosophila males. PloS one, 2(8), [e661]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000661

An inhibitory sex pheromone tastes bitter for Drosophila males. / Lacaille, Fabien; Hiroi, Makoto; Twele, Robert; Inoshita, Tsuyoshi; Umemoto, Daisuke; Manière, Gérard; Marion-Poll, Frédéric; Ozaki, Mamiko; Francke, Wittko; Cobb, Matthew; Everaerts, Claude; Tanimura, Teiichi; Ferveur, Jean François.

In: PloS one, Vol. 2, No. 8, e661, 15.08.2007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lacaille, F, Hiroi, M, Twele, R, Inoshita, T, Umemoto, D, Manière, G, Marion-Poll, F, Ozaki, M, Francke, W, Cobb, M, Everaerts, C, Tanimura, T & Ferveur, JF 2007, 'An inhibitory sex pheromone tastes bitter for Drosophila males', PloS one, vol. 2, no. 8, e661. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000661
Lacaille F, Hiroi M, Twele R, Inoshita T, Umemoto D, Manière G et al. An inhibitory sex pheromone tastes bitter for Drosophila males. PloS one. 2007 Aug 15;2(8). e661. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000661
Lacaille, Fabien ; Hiroi, Makoto ; Twele, Robert ; Inoshita, Tsuyoshi ; Umemoto, Daisuke ; Manière, Gérard ; Marion-Poll, Frédéric ; Ozaki, Mamiko ; Francke, Wittko ; Cobb, Matthew ; Everaerts, Claude ; Tanimura, Teiichi ; Ferveur, Jean François. / An inhibitory sex pheromone tastes bitter for Drosophila males. In: PloS one. 2007 ; Vol. 2, No. 8.
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