Domestication modifies the volatile emissions produced by male Queensland fruit flies during sexual advertisement

Jeanneth Pérez*, Soo Jean Park, Phillip W. Taylor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Insects commonly undergo substantial changes during adaptation for laboratory or mass-rearing environments (‘domestication’) that may have significant implications for inferences from laboratory studies and utility for biological control. We assessed the effect of domestication on the amount and blend of volatiles released during sexual calling by laboratory-reared Bactrocera tryoni males using colonies from three regions of Australia: Brisbane, Cairns and Sydney. For each region, volatiles released by males from a young colony (five or fewer generations) and an old colony (20+ generations) during sexual calling was compared. Males from old colonies released more volatiles than males from young colonies. All components of the blend were more abundant in one or more of the older colonies, although differences varied by compound and by region. To assess changes over generations, the young and old colonies obtained from Brisbane were sampled at 5, 12 and 15 generations (young colony) and 25, 35 and 38 generations (old colony). While the old colony remained unchanged, flies from the young colony released more volatiles at each sequential sampling episode, and became increasingly similar to the old colony. Increased volatile production during domestication may be an adaptive response to crowded rearing conditions in which males need to overcome a chemically noisy environment to be sexually successful.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16503
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 2018

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Copyright the Author(s) 2018. 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.


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