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Report, 2014

Pheromone signaling in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster

Solum, Marit


The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been used as a model species in very diverse branches of science for more than 100 years. The genetic, molecular, and physiological tools that are available for this species offer unique opportunities for experiments that are currently not possible in other organisms. One important line of study in D. melanogaster has been how the chemosensory system of the fly converts information sampled from the outside world to representations in the central nervous system, and how this translates into specific behaviors. Insects rely on chemosensory cues for many aspects of their life, such as locating suitable mates, discovering the presence of a predator, or assessing the quality of a resource or an oviposition site. Communication between individuals of the same species is also often governed by pheromones; molecules that elicit a stereotypic reaction in a conspecific. These molecules can be perceived either by the olfactory system or by the gustatory system. The aim of this paper is to give an overview over what we know about how the chemosensory system of this fruit fly is organized, how odors are perceived and processed, and the identity and functional role of the pheromones that regulate its behavior.


Drosophila melanogaster; Chemical ecology; Pheromone

Published in

Introductory paper at the Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science
2014, number: 2014:2, pages: 1-44
Publisher: Faculty of Landscape Architecture, Horticulture and Crop Production Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Solum, Marit
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Protection Biology

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