Associative learning of color and firmness of oviposition substrates in Drosophila suzukii

Baku Takahara, Kazuo Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), also known as the spotted-wing drosophila, is a global pest fly. The degree of infestation of D. suzukii varies greatly among host plants, possibly depending on the physical properties of the fruits. Because some of the physical properties of fruits can only be judged by touching them, D. suzukii may choose to oviposit based on the physical properties of fruits and remote sensory information such as visual cues. Here, we conducted associative learning experiments with artificial substrates consisting of water, cornmeal, fructose, and agarose with different colors and firmness. We assessed associative learning by conditioning flies with combinations of two colors (purple or green) and degrees of firmness (firm or soft), and comparing their choice between the conditioned color and the other color afterward. We demonstrated that D. suzukii had an associative learning ability but it was limited to the association between green and soft. Drosophila suzukii conditioned with green and soft substrate preferred green as the first choice in the test phase. The proximate cause of this asymmetrical associative learning ability is completely unknown, but the pattern of learning coincides with D. suzukii's preference for immature fruits on the tree in nature, possibly to avoid competition with other fruit flies. The associative learning ability of D. suzukii was found to be limited to a certain combination of color and firmness. It suggests that the asymmetrical association of the natural fruit color and physical properties played a role in the evolution of color-specific associative learning ability of D. suzukii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalEntomologia Experimentalis et Applicata
Volume162
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

oviposition
firmness
learning
fruit
substrate
color
physical properties
physical property
fruits
artificial substrate
Drosophilidae
visual cue
corn meal
conditioned behavior
fruit flies
Drosophila suzukii
conditioning
agarose
host plant
fructose

Keywords

  • artificial substrate
  • choice experiment
  • color preference
  • conditioning
  • Diptera
  • Drosophilidae
  • spotted-wing drosophila

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science

Cite this

Associative learning of color and firmness of oviposition substrates in Drosophila suzukii. / Takahara, Baku; Takahashi, Kazuo.

In: Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, Vol. 162, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 13-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{eb8aa27b51284458bd97bb48453eac78,
title = "Associative learning of color and firmness of oviposition substrates in Drosophila suzukii",
abstract = "Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), also known as the spotted-wing drosophila, is a global pest fly. The degree of infestation of D. suzukii varies greatly among host plants, possibly depending on the physical properties of the fruits. Because some of the physical properties of fruits can only be judged by touching them, D. suzukii may choose to oviposit based on the physical properties of fruits and remote sensory information such as visual cues. Here, we conducted associative learning experiments with artificial substrates consisting of water, cornmeal, fructose, and agarose with different colors and firmness. We assessed associative learning by conditioning flies with combinations of two colors (purple or green) and degrees of firmness (firm or soft), and comparing their choice between the conditioned color and the other color afterward. We demonstrated that D. suzukii had an associative learning ability but it was limited to the association between green and soft. Drosophila suzukii conditioned with green and soft substrate preferred green as the first choice in the test phase. The proximate cause of this asymmetrical associative learning ability is completely unknown, but the pattern of learning coincides with D. suzukii's preference for immature fruits on the tree in nature, possibly to avoid competition with other fruit flies. The associative learning ability of D. suzukii was found to be limited to a certain combination of color and firmness. It suggests that the asymmetrical association of the natural fruit color and physical properties played a role in the evolution of color-specific associative learning ability of D. suzukii.",
keywords = "artificial substrate, choice experiment, color preference, conditioning, Diptera, Drosophilidae, spotted-wing drosophila",
author = "Baku Takahara and Kazuo Takahashi",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1111/eea.12521",
language = "English",
volume = "162",
pages = "13--18",
journal = "Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata",
issn = "0013-8703",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Associative learning of color and firmness of oviposition substrates in Drosophila suzukii

AU - Takahara, Baku

AU - Takahashi, Kazuo

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), also known as the spotted-wing drosophila, is a global pest fly. The degree of infestation of D. suzukii varies greatly among host plants, possibly depending on the physical properties of the fruits. Because some of the physical properties of fruits can only be judged by touching them, D. suzukii may choose to oviposit based on the physical properties of fruits and remote sensory information such as visual cues. Here, we conducted associative learning experiments with artificial substrates consisting of water, cornmeal, fructose, and agarose with different colors and firmness. We assessed associative learning by conditioning flies with combinations of two colors (purple or green) and degrees of firmness (firm or soft), and comparing their choice between the conditioned color and the other color afterward. We demonstrated that D. suzukii had an associative learning ability but it was limited to the association between green and soft. Drosophila suzukii conditioned with green and soft substrate preferred green as the first choice in the test phase. The proximate cause of this asymmetrical associative learning ability is completely unknown, but the pattern of learning coincides with D. suzukii's preference for immature fruits on the tree in nature, possibly to avoid competition with other fruit flies. The associative learning ability of D. suzukii was found to be limited to a certain combination of color and firmness. It suggests that the asymmetrical association of the natural fruit color and physical properties played a role in the evolution of color-specific associative learning ability of D. suzukii.

AB - Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), also known as the spotted-wing drosophila, is a global pest fly. The degree of infestation of D. suzukii varies greatly among host plants, possibly depending on the physical properties of the fruits. Because some of the physical properties of fruits can only be judged by touching them, D. suzukii may choose to oviposit based on the physical properties of fruits and remote sensory information such as visual cues. Here, we conducted associative learning experiments with artificial substrates consisting of water, cornmeal, fructose, and agarose with different colors and firmness. We assessed associative learning by conditioning flies with combinations of two colors (purple or green) and degrees of firmness (firm or soft), and comparing their choice between the conditioned color and the other color afterward. We demonstrated that D. suzukii had an associative learning ability but it was limited to the association between green and soft. Drosophila suzukii conditioned with green and soft substrate preferred green as the first choice in the test phase. The proximate cause of this asymmetrical associative learning ability is completely unknown, but the pattern of learning coincides with D. suzukii's preference for immature fruits on the tree in nature, possibly to avoid competition with other fruit flies. The associative learning ability of D. suzukii was found to be limited to a certain combination of color and firmness. It suggests that the asymmetrical association of the natural fruit color and physical properties played a role in the evolution of color-specific associative learning ability of D. suzukii.

KW - artificial substrate

KW - choice experiment

KW - color preference

KW - conditioning

KW - Diptera

KW - Drosophilidae

KW - spotted-wing drosophila

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85006489464&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85006489464&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/eea.12521

DO - 10.1111/eea.12521

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85006489464

VL - 162

SP - 13

EP - 18

JO - Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata

JF - Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata

SN - 0013-8703

IS - 1

ER -