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J Insect Physiol. 2019 Jun 8;117:103895. doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2019.103895. [Epub ahead of print]

The oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis learns and remembers sugar quality.

Author information

1
Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Insect Behavior Regulation, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China.
2
Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Insect Behavior Regulation, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Electronic address: zengxn@scau.edu.cn.
3
Guangdong Engineering Research Center for Insect Behavior Regulation, College of Agriculture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. Electronic address: shirley4461@scau.edu.cn.

Abstract

The oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis can learn to associate an odor with a sugar reward. However, it is still unclear whether they will learn with different sugar rewards equally. Here, we used a proboscis extension conditioning procedure to investigate the contribution of taste and nutritional value of sugars to learning and memory formation. Three types of sugar were used for conditioning: sweet and nutritional sugar, sucrose; sweet sugar without nutrition, D-arabinose and L-glucose; tasteless sugar with nutritional value, D-sorbitol. The sweet taste is sufficient to produce associative conditioning with an odor and form short-term memory, and the learning and short-term memory performance showed a similar rank order to the proboscis extension reflex evoked by each sugar. However, memory decayed at a greater rate 24 h after conditioning for flies conditioned with sweet tasting but non-metabolizable sugars D-arabinose and L-glucose. When D-arabinose or L-glucose was supplemented with D-sorbitol, the deficit of 24 h memory was rescued, suggesting that the nutrient value of sugar plays a key role in memory persistence. Our results indicate that B. dorsalis could learn and evaluate sugar quality via both taste and nutritional value, as well as remember nutrient sugars for a long time using a postingestive mechanism.

KEYWORDS:

Bactrocera dorsalis; Learning; Memory; Nutritional value; Postingestive

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