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The Effect of Molecular Structure on Olfactory Discrimination by the Parasitoid Microplitis croceipes

Meiners, T. and Wäckers, F.L. and Lewis, W.J. (2002) The Effect of Molecular Structure on Olfactory Discrimination by the Parasitoid Microplitis croceipes. Chemical Senses, 27, 811-816. ISSN 0379-864X.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/chemse/27.9.811

Abstract

Flight chamber experiments were conducted to examine the capacity of the larval parasitoid Microplitis croceipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) to learn to distinguish between structurally related aliphatic alcohols differing in the carbon chain-length and the position of the functional group, and between an alcohol and the respective aldehyde. The parasitoid's ability to discriminate between the components depended on the chain-length of the alcohol to which they had been conditioned. Discrimination improved with increasing difference in carbon chain-length, e.g. the parasitoids made clear distinction between 1-hexanol and 1-octanol. Microplitis croceipes could also distinguish different isomers of six-carbon alcohols on the basis of the position of the alcoholic group as well as between 1-hexanol and 1-hexanal. The learning abilities of M. croceipes correspond to the specificity of antennal odour receptors towards aliphatic alcohols and aldehydes in previous electrophysiological studies of M. croceipes and other insects. Differences in perception or processing of single compounds might reflect differences of their ecological relevance.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Nederlands Instituut voor Ecologie (NIOO)
ID Code:11189
Deposited On:24 Nov 2011 01:00
Last Modified:15 Jan 2014 09:31

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