Electrophysiological responses to Cuelure of raspberry ketone-fed Q-flies

Congratulations to Md Jamil Hossain Biswas and his coauthors for recently publishing the following paper in the Journal of Economic Entomology!

Read the publication.

"Electrophysiological responses to Cuelure of raspberry ketone-fed Queensland fruit flies"

Md Jamil Hossain Biswas, Bishwo Mainali, Soo Jean Park, Phillip W. Taylor & Polychronis Rempoulakis


The sterile insect technique (SIT) and male annihilation technique (MAT) are important tools for the control of Queensland fruit fly (Q-fly), Bactrocera tryoni (Froggatt) (Diptera: Tephritidae), a major insect pest of horticultural crops in Australia. In MAT, mature Q-fly males are attracted to a toxic bait using Cuelure, a synthetic analog of raspberry ketone (RK). Substantial improvements in control could be achieved by simultaneous use of SIT and MAT, but this requires suppression of the Cuelure response in released sterile flies. Recent studies report that prerelease feeding with RK during the first 48 h after emergence can reduce the response of mature Q-fly males to Cuelure, but the mechanism underpinning this is unknown. Here, to test whether reduced sensory sensitivity to Cuelure is involved, we evaluated the effects of RK supplements, adult diet (yeast-supplemented diet throughout adult stage vs yeast-supplemented diet only for 48 h), and age on electroantennogram (EAG) and electropalpogram (EPG) responses of Q-flies to Cuelure stimuli. EAG responses did not vary with RK supplements, sex, or age of Q-flies fed yeast-supplemented diet throughout the adult stage, but the responses of Q-flies fed other diet regime decreased with age. EPG responses of both sexes of Q-flies were affected by RK supplements, age, and their interaction, but without patterns that might indicate reduced maxillary palp response of RK supplemented flies to Cuelure. Our findings do not support the hypothesis that reduced Cuelure response of male Q-flies fed RK supplements is explained by reduced electrophysiological response in antennae or maxillary palps.

Photo: Md Jamil Hossain Biswas conducting experiments at Macquarie University as part of his PhD project.