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Researchers find new taste in fruit flies: carbonated water
Date:8/29/2007

ut off avoided high carbon dioxide concentrations in the environment; likewise, flies that were missing antennae, the structures they use to smell their surroundings, were attracted to solutions with high carbon dioxide concentrations. These results indicate that the senses of taste and smell operate independently. As a result, the team concluded that fruit flies use both senses of taste and smell separately to gauge their environment for a potential food source.

Our model is that flies like high local concentrations of carbon dioxide, says Scott. So if carbon dioxide is being produced by the yeast, flies taste it and they like it. But if there are increased global levels of carbon dioxide in the airsuch as if a food source becomes spoiled and potentially toxicthen flies are repelled by it. So we think by having these two different carbon dioxide detectors, flies are able to compare global to local levels of carbon dioxide and then regulate their behavior accordingly.


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Contact: Jennifer Wenger
jwenger@mail.nih.gov
301-496-7243
NIH/National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Source:Eurekalert

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