Quantifying variation in the ability of yeasts to attract Drosophila melanogaster

Palanca, Loida, Gaskett, Anne C., Gunther, Catrin S. , Newcomb, Richard D. and Goddard, Matthew R. (2013) Quantifying variation in the ability of yeasts to attract Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS ONE, 8 (9). e75332. ISSN 1932-6203

Full content URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.137...

Quantifying variation in the ability of yeasts to attract Drosophila melanogaster
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Yeasts that invade and colonise fruit significantly enhance the volatile chemical diversity of this ecosystem. These modified bouquets are thought to be more attractive to Drosophila flies than the fruit alone, but the variance of attraction in natural yeast populations is uncharacterised. Here we investigate how a range of yeast isolates affect the attraction of female D. melanogaster to fruit in a simple two choice assay comparing yeast to sterile fruit. Of the 43 yeast isolates examined, 33 were attractive and seven repellent to the flies. The results of isolate-versus-isolate comparisons provided the same relative rankings. Attractiveness varied significantly by yeast, with the strongly fermenting Saccharomyces species generally being more attractive than the mostly respiring non-Saccharomyces species (P = 0.0035). Overall the habitat (fruit or other) from which the isolates were directly sampled did not explain attraction (P = 0.2352). However, yeasts isolated from fruit associated niches were more attractive than those from non-fruit associated niches (P = 0.0188) regardless of taxonomic positioning. These data suggest that while attractiveness is primarily correlated with phylogenetic status, the ability to attract Drosophila is a labile trait among yeasts that is potentially associated with those inhabiting fruit ecosystems. Preliminary analysis of the volatiles emitted by four yeast isolates in grape juice show the presence/absence of ethanol and acetic acid were not likely explanations for the observed variation in attraction. These data demonstrate variation among yeasts for their ability to attract Drosophila in a pattern that is consistent with the hypothesis that certain yeasts are manipulating fruit odours to mediate interactions with their Drosophila dispersal agent. © 2013 Palanca et al.

Additional Information:This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords:acetic acid, alcohol, article, controlled study, Drosophila melanogaster, ecosystem, female, fruit, fungus isolation, genotype, grape juice, habitat, Kazachstania telluris, nonhuman, phylogeny, Saccharomyces, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Saccharomyces uvarum, taxonomy, yeast, Analysis of Variance, Animals, Chemotaxis, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, New Zealand, Odors, Species Specificity, Symbiosis, Vitis, Volatile Organic Compounds, Yeasts
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C180 Ecology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:17149
Deposited On:15 May 2015 08:41

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