Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 311–317 | Cite as

Tolerance of Drosophila Flies to Ibotenic Acid Poisons in Mushrooms

  • Nobuko TunoEmail author
  • Kazuo H. Takahashi
  • Hiroshi Yamashita
  • Naoya Osawa
  • Chihiro Tanaka


The mushroom genus Amanita has a spectrum of chemical compounds affecting survival and performance of animals. Ibotenic acid is one of such compounds found in some Amanita mushrooms. We studied the effects of ibotenic acid and its derivative, muscimol, on egg-to-pupa survival, pupation time, and pupal size in five Drosophila species (Diptera: Drosophilidae), Drosophila bizonata, Drosophila angularis, Drosophila brachynephros, Drosophila immigrans, and Drosophila melanogaster. The first three species are mycophagous and use a wide range of mushrooms for breeding, whereas D. immigrans and D. melanogaster are frugivorous. We reared fly larvae on artificial medium with 500, 250, 125, and 62.5 μg/ml of ibotenic acid and/or musimol. The three mycophagous species were not susceptible to ibotenic acid, whereas the two frugivorous species were affected. In experiments with D. melanogaster, muscimol was less toxic than ibotenic acid.


Ibotenic acid Amanita Drosophila Susceptibility Mycophagy 



We thank Dr. John Romeo for his patient help and advice. We thank Prof. M. T. Kimura for improving the manuscript and the members of the Department of Ecology and Genetics, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, for their technical support. This work is supported in part by Grants-in-Aid (15380104 and 17405030) for Scientific Research (B) to C. Tanaka from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the COEs for Microbial-Process Development Pioneering Future Production Systems and Innovative Food and Environmental Studies Pioneered by Entomomimetic Sciences (the COE programs of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan).


  1. Besl, H., Krump, C. and Schefcsik, M. 1987. The effect of fungal fruitbodies on larvae of Drosophila. Z. Mykol. 53:273–285 (in German with English summary).Google Scholar
  2. Cox, D. R. 1972. Regression models and life tables. J. R. Stat. Soc. B 34:187–220.Google Scholar
  3. Jaenike, J. 1985. Parasite pressure and the evolution of amanitin tolerance in Drosophila. Evolution 39:1295–1301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Jaenike, J., Grimaldi, D. A., Sluder, A. E. and Greenleaf, A. L. 1983. α-Amanitin tolerance in mycophagous Drosophila. Science 221:165–166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Kimura, M. T., Toda, M. J., Beppu, K. and Watabe, H. 1977. Breeding sites of drosophilid flies in and near Sapporo, northern Japan, with supplementary notes on adult feeding habits. Kontyû 45:571–582.Google Scholar
  6. Martin, M. M. 1979. Biochemical implications of insect mycophagy. Biol. Rev. 54:1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Nishiharu, S. 1980. A study on ecology and evolution of drosophilid flies with special regard to imaginal and larval feeding habits and seasonal population fluctuations. Ph.D. Dissertation, Tokyo Metropolitan University.Google Scholar
  8. Stømer, F. C. and Janak, K. 2004. Ibotenic acid in Amanita muscaria spores and caps. Mycologist 18:114–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Takahashi, K. H., Tuno, N. and Kagaya, T. 2005. The relative importance of spatial aggregation and resource partitioning on the coexistence of mycophagous insects. Oikos 109:125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Tsunoda, K., Inoue, N., Aoyagi, Y. and Sugahara, T. 1993. Changes in concentration of ibotenic acid and muscimol in the fruit body of Amanita muscaria during the reproduction stage (food hygienic studies of toxigenic basidiomycotina. II). Shokuhin-eisei 34:18–24 (in Japanese with English summary).Google Scholar
  11. Tuno, N. 2001. The community structure of mycophagous insects in Kyoto, central Japan. Jpn. J. Ecol. 51:73–86 (in Japanese with English summary).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nobuko Tuno
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuo H. Takahashi
    • 2
  • Hiroshi Yamashita
    • 3
  • Naoya Osawa
    • 3
  • Chihiro Tanaka
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Vector Ecology and Environment, Institute of Tropical MedicineNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  2. 2.Department of Population GeneticsNational Institute of GeneticsMishima, ShizuokaJapan
  3. 3.Laboratory of Forest Ecology, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Laboratory of Environmental Mycoscience, Graduate School of AgricultureKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations