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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1975 Jul;72(7):2501-5.

Attraction of the oriental fruit fly, Dacus dorsalis, to methyl eugenol and related olfactory stimulants.


The attraction of male oriental fruit flies to methyl eugenol and 34 analogues was investigated quantitatively using the characteristic feeding response. Methyl eugenol was the most active compound studied, with a feeding response to 0.01 mug, but saturation of the allyl side chain or replacement of allyl by allyloxy produced compounds almost as effective. Replacement of the methoxy groups by methylenedioxy, methyl, or chloro groups abolished all response. The ring geometry of the methoxy groups was critical, with orthodimethoxy most active and meta-dimethoxy inactive. Replacement of methoxy with hydroxy, methylthio, or amino groups did not abolish the response. The failure of the oriental fruit fly to respond to the methyl and chloro isosteres of methyl eugenol was contrasted with the response of a human odor panel which perceived these compounds as having weak floral odors.

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