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Genetic elimination of known pheromones reveals the fundamental chemical bases of mating and isolation in Drosophila

Abstract : Overexpression of the UAS-tra transgene in Drosophila melanogaster females led to the complete elimination of their cuticular pheromones. According to current models of Drosophila behavior, these flies should induce no courtship. In fact, they are still attractive to conspecific males. Three classes of stimuli are shown to induce courtship, with different effects on male behavior: (i) known pheromones produced by control females, (ii) stimuli produced by living control and transgenic flies, and (iii) as-yet-undetermined pheromones present on both control and transgenic flies. Only the latter class of pheromones are required for mating. They appear to represent a layer of ancestral attractive substances present in D. melanogaster and its sibling species; known cuticular pheromones modulate this attractivity positively or negatively. The absence of inhibitory pheromones leads to high levels of interspecific mating, suggesting an important role for these cuticular hydrocarbons in isolation between species.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00451511
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Submitted on : Friday, January 29, 2010 - 11:26:51 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, June 22, 2022 - 3:34:13 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00451511, version 1

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Fabrice Savarit, G. Sureau, Mattew Cobb, Jean-François Ferveur. Genetic elimination of known pheromones reveals the fundamental chemical bases of mating and isolation in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, National Academy of Sciences, 1999, 96 (16), pp.9015-20. ⟨hal-00451511⟩

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