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Encoding of fruit odours by the peripheral olfactory system in Drosophila suzukii: Fruitprints for host selection and prospects for sustainable management

Dumenil, Claire France Nicolle 2019. Encoding of fruit odours by the peripheral olfactory system in Drosophila suzukii: Fruitprints for host selection and prospects for sustainable management. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The fly Drosophila suzukii is an invasive pest responsible for major economic losses in fruit industries. Females lay eggs through a punctured hole in the skin of ripening fruits which otherwise would be available for retail. Since 2010 the fly is included in the World Invasive Species Compendium, developed by CAB international (CABI) and on the Pest Alert List of the European Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) as an invasive agricultural pest threatening fruit production. Intensive research has been carried out to improve current management methods and develop Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques. One of the challenges is to develop species specific tools which require fundamental research on species-specific host selection processes. D. suzukii is also valuable to study host selection and the mechanisms of host detection in a polyphagous pest insect. It has a fascinating ecology and its close relatedness to one of the most intensively studied biological research models Drosophila melanogaster facilitates its study. Using a highly sensitive sensory system, females detect and select host plants to lay eggs in the ripening fruits. Semiochemicals released by these fruits may be used to lure them to traps or disrupt host detection. The aim of the research presented in this thesis was to determine how host fruit odours are encoded by the peripheral olfactory system in D. suzukii to enable host fruit detection and discrimination. The results provide a model of olfactory detection of hosts for polyphagous insects. The key result is that the peripheral olfactory system encodes ripe fruit odours via combinations of only a few classes of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). The combinatorial activation of the fruit specific ORNs guides host selection behaviour and enables the flies to discriminate among oviposition substrates. This model offers a novel approach for identifying semiochemicals to use in pest management. It enables a rapid screen of chemicals for potential attraction to oviposition sites by determining if the responses they elicit are part of the fruitprint: the pattern of neuron activity induced by host-fruit odours in the peripheral olfactory system.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Biosciences
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: spotted wing drosophila, pest control, electrophysiology, fruit selection, volatiles
Funders: BBSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 10 March 2020
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2021 16:05

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