In collaboration with colleagues from Portugal and Spain, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have developed an apparatus that automatically applies odors to an airstream, while filming and analyzing the behavior of insects simultaneously.
Drosophila fly in a glass Flywalk tube
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology/Knaden
Two views inside the brain of a fruit fly while it is smelling; left: active glomeruli (represented by bright colors) after stimulation with a deterrent odor (linalool); right: active glomeruli after application of an attractant (3-methylthio-1-propanol). This shows that deterrent responses are generated in lateral areas of the brain, whereas attractant responses are generated in medial areas. Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology/Strutz
The system is called Flywalk and consists of glass tubes, airstream regulators, and a video camera. The reactions of 15 flies to up to eight different odorant signals can be tested at the same time. A first series of tests revealed that male and female fruit flies responded differently to attractant substances.The tests confirmed that male flies were no longer attracted to females that had already mated with another male because of the particular odor, cis-vaccenyl acetate, surrounding these females. Two further publications report on the processing of odor signals in the insect brain. (Nature Scientific Reports, Cell Reports, Journal of Experimental Biology)
Fruit flies: New pheromone
Experiments with fruit flies demonstrated that females − in contrast to males − were more attracted by typical food odors, such as ethyl acetate. This behavior seems to reflect the search for the best oviposition place in order to make sure that the larval offspring will find sufficient food after hatching. The response to deterrent odors, such as benzaldehyde, was identical in both males and females. Males, on the other hand, responded positively to the odor of unmated females: If the odor surrounding virgin females was introduced into the Flywalk tubes, the males moved upwind. “This way, we demonstrated for the first time that females, as observed in other insect species, attract their mates with odors. The chemistry of these odorant substances is currently being analyzed,” says Kathrin Steck, who carried out the experiments. The substance that renders mated females unattractive to males willing to mate is already known: cis-vaccenyl acetate. With this odor a male marks the female during copulation. Thus a male fruit fly prevents further fertilization by other males and makes sure that his genes are spread.
From odorant receptor to behavior: What happens in the brain?
Dr. Jan-Wolfhard Kellmann | Max-Planck-Institut
Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside
Chlamydia: How bacteria take over control
28.03.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences