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
Molecular microscopy illuminates molecular motor motion
26.07.2017 | Penn State
New virus discovered in migratory bird in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
26.07.2017 | Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences