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Research article2023Peer reviewedOpen access

Comparative transcriptomic assessment of the chemosensory receptor repertoire of Drosophila suzukii adult and larval olfactory organs

Walker III, William B.; Mori, Boyd A.; Cattaneo, Alberto M.; Gonzalez, Francisco; Witzgall, Peter; Becher, Paul G.


The spotted wing Drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, has emerged within the past decade as an invasive species on a global scale, and is one of the most economically important pests in fruit and berry production in Europe and North America. Insect ecology, to a strong degree, depends on the chemosensory modalities of smell and taste. Extensive research on the sensory receptors of the olfactory and gustatory systems in Drosophila melanogaster provide an excellent frame of reference to better understand the fundamentals of the chemosensory systems of D. suzukii. This knowledge may enhance the development of semiochemicals for sustainable management of D. suzukii, which is urgently needed. Here, using a transcriptomic approach we report the chemosensory receptor expression profiles in D. suzukii female and male antennae, and for the first time, in larval heads including the dorsal organ that houses larval olfactory sensory neurons. In D. suzukii adults, we generally observed a lack of sexually dimorphic expression levels in male and female antennae. While there was generally conservation of antennal expression of odorant and ionotropic receptor orthologues for D. melanogaster and D. suzukii, gustatory receptors showed more distinct species-specific profiles. In larval head tissues, for all three receptor gene fam-ilies, there was also a greater degree of species-specific gene expression patterns. Analysis of chemosensory re-ceptor repertoires in the pest species, D. suzukii relative to those of the genetic model D. melanogaster enables comparative studies of the chemosensory, physiology, and ecology of D. suzukii.


Olfaction; RNA-Seq; Chemical ecology; Chemoreceptor; Chemosensation; Transcriptomes; Spotted wing drosophila

Published in

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part D: Genomics and Proteomics
2023, Volume: 45, article number: 101049