This week’s speaker for the University of Lincoln research seminar series is Dr Catrin Gunther, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln.
Date: Friday 9th June 2017
Title: Do yeasts regulate coexistence of sympatric Drosophila species?
Abstract: Saccharomyces yeast and Drosophila fruit flies share the same habitat and may form mutualistic associations that are instigated by chemical communication. However, we know little of the effect of the third member of this tri-partite relationship, the fruit, and the variance in this yeast interaction between Drosophilaspecies. Drosophila simulans is found in sympatry with its evolutionary sibling D. melanogaster and we show that the attraction of D. simulans to various S. cerevisiaegenotypes is heavily dependent upon the fruit context, whereas D. melanogaster appears to be more universally attracted to S. cerevisiae regardless of the fruit substrate inhabited. How this difference might translate into co-existence of both species was examined further by preference testing of Lincolnshire apples naturally infected with microbes. The observed divergence in chemosensory preference between these two fly species suggests spatiotemporal variation in abundance of these sympatric species which is likely driven by changes in microbial community and their characteristic suit of volatiles.
Please find further details of Dr Catrin’s research interests and scientific activity on her web pages: