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J Exp Biol. 2002 Oct;205(Pt 20):3241-9.

Temperature affects the ontogeny of sexually dimorphic cuticular hydrocarbons in Drosophila melanogaster.

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  • 1LEEC, CNRS- FRE 2413, Universit√© Paris 13, 93430 Villetaneuse, France.


Hydrocarbons on the cuticle of mature Drosophila melanogaster flies play a crucial role in mate recognition, and protect against dehydration. We measured the effect of temperature on mature cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs) by (i) rearing two control strains at different temperatures, (ii) shifting the temperature after metamorphosis and (iii) inducing a single heat-shock pulse in control and heat-sensitive transgenic strains, over a period of 3 days following adult eclosion. This study describes the time course of the events involved in the production of male- and female-predominant CHs. We also found that 'immature' CHs, sexually monomorphic CHs on younger flies, were not affected by these treatments.

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