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The Scent of the Fly
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp.
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Chemical Engineering.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Chemical Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5543-2041
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2018 (English)In: Journal of Chemical Ecology, ISSN 0098-0331, E-ISSN 1573-1561, Vol. 44, no 5, p. 431-435Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

(Z)-4-undecenal (Z4-11Al) is the volatile pheromone produced by females of the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. Female flies emit Z4-11Al for species-specific communication and mate-finding. A sensory panel finds that synthetic Z4-11Al has a characteristic flavour, which can be perceived even at the small amounts produced by a single female fly. Since only females produce Z4-11Al, and not males, we can reliably distinguish between single D. melanogaster males and females, according to their scent. Females release Z4-11Al at 2.4 ng/h and we readily sense 1 ng synthetic Z4-11Al in a glass of wine (0.03 nmol/L), while a tenfold concentration is perceived as a loud off-flavour. This corroborates the observation that a glass of wine is spoilt by a single D. melanogaster fly falling into it, which we here show is caused by Z4-11Al. The biological role of Z4-11Al or structurally related aldehydes in humans and the basis for this semiochemical convergence remains yet unclear. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 44, no 5, p. 431-435
Keywords [en]
Drosophila melanogaster, Odorant, Off-flavour, Olfaction, Pheromone, Semiochemical, Wine
National Category
Chemical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-33632DOI: 10.1007/s10886-018-0950-4ISI: 000431113700001PubMedID: 29611073Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85044769966OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-33632DiVA, id: diva2:1205866
Available from: 2018-05-15 Created: 2018-05-15 Last updated: 2018-05-30Bibliographically approved

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Wallin, ErikaHedenström, Erik

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