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Gut Microbes. 2014 Jul 1;5(4):541-3. doi: 10.4161/gmic.29153. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

You are what you eat.

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Institute of Integrative Biology; School of Life Sciences; University of Liverpool; Liverpool, UK.
UMR 6553 ECOBIO; University of Rennes 1, 35042; Rennes, France.


Gut bacteria is now considered as an additional host organ, and it has been shown that they have important influences on host developmental and physiological processes. More recently gut bacteria have additionally been implicated in behavioral processes. We showed that in two species of Drosophila, gut bacteria variation affects behavior, altering partner investment in copulation in relation to whether individuals were familiar (i.e., having developed in the same environment), or were related. This suggests that gut bacteria play a role in kin recognition in these species. We suggest that this phenomenon is associated with gut bacteria influencing the scent profiles used by Drosophila in mate choice.


Drosophila; behaviour; cuticular hydrocarbons; gut bacteria; gut microbiota; kin recognition

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