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Pheromonal cues convey social information about favorable egg-laying site in Drosophila melanogaster

Woud, D. (2016) Pheromonal cues convey social information about favorable egg-laying site in Drosophila melanogaster. Master's Thesis / Essay, Science Education and Communication.

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Abstract

As far as egg-laying species are concerned, finding a suitable oviposition site is essential behavior for the survival of the species. But how do they learn this behavior? A model organism which is extensively used for studying behavior is the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. Here we show that Drosophila melanogaster females use information from other flies when choosing a suitable oviposition site. Female Drosophila melanogaster leave a blend of pheromones behind in their territory that consists of the aggregation pheromone 11-cis Vaccenyl Acetate (cVA), which is obtained during copulation with males, and a specific combination of several Cuticular Hydrocarbon (CH) pheromones. This blend of pheromones affects other mated females behavior, because the food patches that were marked by mated females were preferred by mated females for oviposition. This signal that is left behind is highly specific, because neither male callers, nor virgin female callers with addition of ejected ejaculate were able to induce such a preference. In addition, females without CHs did not induce a preference for oviposition while an extract of a mated female fly did induce a preference. The mechanism by which the signal is perceived remains unclear, however, we did show that multiple olfactory sensory systems are needed. Our results show that Drosophila melanogaster female flies are able to learn from other mated female flies through a phenomenon called social learning.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Science Education and Communication
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:13
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 08:13
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/14018

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