The mode of evolution of aggregation pheromones in Drosophila species

Symonds, M. R. E. and Wertheim, B. 2005, The mode of evolution of aggregation pheromones in Drosophila species, Journal of evolutionary biology, vol. 18, no. 5, pp. 1253-1263, doi: 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.00971.x.

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Title The mode of evolution of aggregation pheromones in Drosophila species
Author(s) Symonds, M. R. E.ORCID iD for Symonds, M. R. E.
Wertheim, B.
Journal name Journal of evolutionary biology
Volume number 18
Issue number 5
Start page 1253
End page 1263
Total pages 11
Publisher Wiley - Blackwell Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, Eng.
Publication date 2005-09
ISSN 1010-061X
Keyword(s) aggregation pheromones
chemical communication
gradual evolution
signal evolution
Summary Aggregation pheromones are used by fruit flies of the genus Drosophila to assemble on breeding substrates, where they feed, mate and oviposit communally. These pheromones consist of species-specific blends of chemicals. Here, using a phylogenetic framework, we examine how differences among species in these pheromone blends have evolved. Theoretical predictions, genetic evidence, and previous empirical analysis of bark beetle species, suggest that aggregation pheromones do not evolve gradually, but via major, saltational shifts in chemical composition. Using pheromone data for 28 species of Drosophila we show that, unlike with bark beetles, the distribution of chemical components among species is highly congruent with their phylogeny, with closely related species being more similar in their pheromone blends than are distantly related species. This pattern is also strong within the melanogaster species group, but less so within the virilis species group. Our analysis strongly suggests that the aggregation pheromones of Drosophila exhibit a gradual, not saltational, mode of evolution. We propose that these findings reflect the function of the pheromones in the ecology of Drosophila, which does not hinge on species specificity of aggregation pheromones as signals.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1420-9101.2005.00971.x
Field of Research 060201 Behavioural Ecology
060309 Phylogeny and Comparative Analysis
060808 Invertebrate Biology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2005, Wiley-Blackwell
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