Host Fruit-Odor Discrimination and Sympatric Host-Race Formation

Jeffrey L. Feder and Andrew A. Forbes

in Specialization, Speciation, and Radiation

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780520251328
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933828 | DOI:
Host Fruit-Odor Discrimination and Sympatric Host-Race Formation

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This chapter examines host-fruit-odor discrimination in the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella, and its role in sympatric speciation via host-plant shifting. It shows that R. pomonella flies both positively orient to the odor of their respective natal host fruits and avoid non-natal odor. F1 hybrids between apple- and hawthorn-infesting host races of R. pomonella generally fail to orient to the fruit odor of either apples or hawthorns, suggesting that the evolution of new host-discrimination behaviors can generate significant postzygotic as well as premating reproductive isolation when insects must find appropriate host plants in a timely manner to mate and oviposit. The chapter discusses the adaptive zone hypothesis, ecological adaptation, host-specific mating, reproductive isolation, the pioneering work of Tom Wood and Ron Prokopy in the study of insect behavior and diversity, the natural and life history of R. pomonella, behavioral testing using synthetic fruit volatile blends, genetic analysis of fruit-odor discrimination, the physiological basis for fruit-odor discrimination, and the theoretical significance of fruit-odor discrimination studies. It concludes by discussing the generality of the Rhagoletis findings to other phytophagous insects.

Keywords: Rhagoletis pomonella; odor discrimination; sympatric speciation; fruit odor; hawthorns; host races; phytophagous insects; reproductive isolation; ecological adaptation; adaptive zone hypothesis

Chapter.  13307 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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