LOEWE Zentrum für
Insektenbiotechnologie
& Bioressourcen

Seminar announcement 11. Dec 2013

Dr. Monika Trienens

Drosophila and Aspergillus – Flies and fungi fighting over fruits

As the frequently used common name “fruit fly” implies, Drosophila melanogaster makes use of fruits as breeding substrates. Yet, fruit material alone does not support larval development. Instead, especially the larvae are depending on microbes as a dietary supplement, to compensate the lack of essential elements for biosynthesis processes. This, partly, explains the attraction of the fly to microbial activities. However, also antagonistic microorganisms like filamentous fungi frequently co-occur on fruits and alike fly habitats. Filamentous fungi can alter their environment by the excretion of substances that hold detrimental functions to other organisms. This chemical defence reduces competition with other microorganisms and fitness losses due to insect grazing. Insects, on the other hand, may adapt their behaviour and develop resistance to the fungal defence mechanisms. Here I will outline the impacts insects and toxin-producing filamentous fungi have on each other, potential evolutionary mechanisms and how yeasts as symbionts might interfere with this interaction.

Dr. Monika Trienens, University of Groningen, NL / University of Münster, DE

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