Behavior Genetics

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 713–725

Genetic Analysis of Cuticular Hydrocarbons and Their Effect on Courtship in Drosophila virilis and D. lummei

Original Paper


Genetical factors controlling the cuticular hydrocarbons (CHC) of Drosophila virilis and D. lummei, and the effect of CHC on female attractivity were studied. A strong sexual dimorphism was found in D. virilis where (Z)-10-heneicosene and (Z)-11-pentacosene were major CHC for males and females, respectively. In D. lummei, (Z)-9-pentacosene was the major CHC for both sexes. These CHC are under a complex genetical control: the level of male (Z)-10-heneicosene was mainly sex-linked; chromosome 2 exerted a marked hypermorphic effect on it as well as on female (Z)-11-pentacosene; other autosomes had additional smaller effects on the CHC. Further, these two species showed differences in the double bond position pattern: Monoenes, with double bonds in (Z)-11 or (Z)-13, were more abundant in D. virilis (monoenes-vi), while monoenes, with double bonds in (Z)-7 or (Z)-9, were more abundant in D. lummei (monoenes-lu). In agreement with previous studies of perfumed dummies, experiments with live females showed that a higher proportion of (Z)-11-pentacosene or of monoenes-vi induced D. virilis males to court sooner. On the other hand, monoenes-lu showed antagonistic effects.


Sex pheromone Genetic control Mating behavior Hydrocarbon profiles Drosophila 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.UMR-CNRS 8620, Université Paris-SudOrsayFrance

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