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Toxicity of flavor enhancers to the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae)


The objective of this study was to evaluate the toxicity of flavor enhancers to the oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel). The flavor enhancers glycine, disodium guanylate, succinic acid disodium salt, monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium inosinate, and l-alanine significantly increased the mortality of B. dorsalis flies. The mortality of flies that fed on glycine, disodium guanylate, succinic acid disodium salt, and MSG was greater than 90%. Additionally, fruit fly mortality increased with increases in both time and concentration. Glycine not only reduced the climbing ability of B. dorsalis but also affected the duration and frequency of its behavioral patterns (flight, walking, grooming and inactivity). Compared with adult flies in the control group, adult B. dorsalis flies that fed on glycine exhibited a significantly increased duration and frequency of inactivity and a decreased duration and frequency of both flight and walking. However, the effect of glycine on grooming activity was not significant. These findings demonstrate the toxic effects of flavor enhancers on B. dorsalis. Glycine also affected the behavior of adult flies at a low dose. Therefore, glycine has potentially toxic to insects and also likely to have a negative impact at sublethal concentrations.

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This study was supported by Guangdong Key Laboratory of Animal Conservation and Resource Utilization, Grant (GIABR-KF201702) and the National Key Research and Development Project (2016YC1201200).

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Correspondence to Zhiqiang Li or Yijuan Xu.

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Guidelines on ethical issues and international agreements were considered and complied with.

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These authors contributed equally: Chunyan Zheng, Dongyu Yang.

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Zheng, C., Yang, D., Li, Z. et al. Toxicity of flavor enhancers to the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae). Ecotoxicology 27, 619–626 (2018).

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  • Bactrocera dorsalis
  • Flavor enhancers
  • Survival
  • Behavior pattern
  • Glycine
  • Mortality