Diversity and sex differences in rectal gland volatiles of Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Diptera: Tephritidae)

Cynthia Castro-Vargas, Gunjan Pandey*, Heng Lin Yeap, Michael J. Lacey, Siu Fai Lee, Soo J. Park, Phillip W. Taylor, John G. Oakeshott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Rectal gland volatiles are key mediators of sexual interactions in tephritid fruit flies. We used solid-phase microextraction (SPME) plus gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GCMS) and gas chromatography-flame ionization detection (GC-FID) to substantially expand rectal gland chemical characterisation of the Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni (Diptera: Tephritidae); Qfly). The SPME GC-MS analysis identified 24 of the 30 compounds previously recorded from Qfly rectal glands, plus another 21 compounds that had not previously been reported. A few amides and fatty acid esters dominated the chromatograms of males and females respectively, but we also found other esters, alcohols and aldehydes and a ketone. The GC-FID analyses also revealed over 150 others, as yet unidentified, volatiles, generally in lesser amounts. The GC-FID analyses also showed 49 and 12 compounds were male- and female-specific, respectively, both in single sex (virgin) and mixed sex (mostly mated) groups. Another ten compounds were male-specific among virgins but undetected in mixed sex groups, and 29 were undetected in virgins but male-specific in mixed sex groups. The corresponding figures for females were four and zero, respectively. Most short retention time peaks (including a ketone and an ester) were male-specific, whereas most female-biased peaks (including five fatty acid esters) had long retention times. Our results indicate previously unsuspected diversity of rectal gland volatiles that might have pheromone functions in males, but far fewer in females.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0273210
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


Dive into the research topics of 'Diversity and sex differences in rectal gland volatiles of Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni (Diptera: Tephritidae)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • ITTC for Fruit Fly Biosecurity Innovation (ARC)

    Taylor, P., Clarke, A., Riegler, M., Kemp, D., Ponton, F., Cameron, S., Schutze, M., Cook, J., Papanicolaou, A., Dominiak, B., Jessup, A., Reynolds, O., Suckling, M., El Sayad, A., Mas, F., Royer, J., Schellhorn, N., Macfadyen, S., Wilson, C., MQRES Inter Tuition Fee only 2, M. I. T. F. O. 2. & MQRES Inter Tuition Fee only, M. I. T. F. O.

    27/06/16 → …

    Project: Research

  • Raising Qfly Sterile Insect Technique to World Standard

    Taylor, P., Berlage, M., Herberstein, M., Beaumont, L., Gillings, M., Ponton, F., Lee, R., Mainali, B., Jamie, I., Jamie, J., Park, S. J., Mendez Alvarez, V., Perez, J., Baumgartner, J., Morimoto Borges, J., Siddiqui, M., Edwards, O., Oakeshott, J., Pandey, G., Taylor, M., Yeap, H. L., Rane, R., Colombo, V., Froese, J., Rempoulakis, P., Balagawi, S., Dominiak, B., Chapman, T., Gillespie, P., Kingham, L., Crisp, P., Hill, K., Suckling, M., El Sayad, A., Park, K. C., Mas, F., Stringer, L., Twidle, A., MQRES (International), M., MQRES 2 (International), M. 2., MQRES 3 (International), M. 3., MQRES 4 (International), M., MQRES 5 (International), M. 5., MQRES 6 (International), M. 6., MQRES 7 (International), M. 7., MQRES 8 (International), M. 8., MQRES 9 (International), M. 9. & MQRES 10 (International), M. 1.

    22/06/15 → …

    Project: Research

Cite this