The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies.

Gerofotis, Christos D; Ioannou, Charalampos S; Nakas, Christos T.; Papadopoulos, Nikos T (2016). The odor of a plant metabolite affects life history traits in dietary restricted adult olive flies. Scientific Reports, 6, p. 28540. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/srep28540

srep28540.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (725kB) | Preview

Food quality shapes life history traits either directly or through response of individuals to additional environmental factors, such as chemical cues. Plant extracts used as food additives modulate key life history traits; however little is known regarding such effects for olfactory chemical cues. Exploiting an interesting experimental system that involves the olive fly (Bactrocera oleae) and the plant metabolite α-pinene we asked whether exposure of adults to this compound modulates adult longevity and female reproduction in similar manner in a stressful - dietary (protein) restricted (DR) and in a relaxed- full diet (FD) feeding environment. Accordingly, we exposed males and females to the aroma of α-pinene and measured lifespan and age-specific fecundity in the above two dietary contexts. Our results demonstrate that exposure to α-pinene increased longevity in males and fecundity in females only under dietary restricted conditions. In relaxed food conditions, females exposed to α-pinene shifted high egg-laying towards younger ages compared to non-exposed ones. This is the first report demonstrating that a plant compound affects key life history traits of adult olive flies through olfaction. These effects are sex-specific and more pronounced in dietary restricted adults. Possible underlying mechanisms and the ecological significance are discussed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Institute of Clinical Chemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Nakas, Christos T.


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Nature Publishing Group




Marie-Christine Müller

Date Deposited:

04 Jun 2018 11:20

Last Modified:

01 Apr 2021 07:51

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback