Evaluation of the Hopkins’ Host Selection Principle in Drosophila flies

The preference of an insect for a host can be determined by a combination of innate factors modulated by diverse rewarding experiences throughout different stages of their lifetime. When larval experiences later affect the adult preference for a host, we call it the Hopkins’ Host Selection Principle (HHSP). Although the HHSP has been documented in diverse groups of insects, it remains to be tested in drosophilid flies. The project aims to understand how host experiences during the early stages of the life of Drosophila melanogaster can modulate the preferences of the adult for a determined substrate. We would also like to test the hypothesis that the preference for a host may be affected by the environmental changes of the Anthropocene. To target these questions, we will combine behavioural approaches like oviposition experiments, with electrophysiological and chemical analyses, like single sensillum recordings and gas-chromatography.

Doctoral Researcher: Melissa Diaz-Morales (MPI-CE)

Supervision: Dr. Markus Knaden (MPI-CE), Dr. Peter Anderson (SLU), and Dr. Bill S. Hansson (MPI-CE).  


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