VitiSynth Full Entry

Reference: Chemical signaling and insect attraction is a conserved trait in yeasts
Key Statements


Yeast volatiles attract insects, which apparently is of mutual benefit, for both yeasts and insects. However, it is unknown whether biosynthesis of metabolites that attract insects is a basic and general trait, or if it is specific for yeasts that live in close association with insects. Our goal was to study chemical insect attractants produced by yeasts that span more than 250 million years of evolutionary history and vastly differ in their metabolism and lifestyle. We bioassayed attraction of the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster to odors of phylogenetically and ecologically distinct yeasts grown under controlled conditions. Baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the insect-associated species Candida californica, Pichia kluyveri and Metschnikowia andauensis, wine yeast Dekkera bruxellensis, milk yeast Kluyveromyces lactis, the vertebrate pathogens Candida albicans and Candida glabrata, and oleophilic Yarrowia lipolytica were screened for fly attraction in a wind tunnel. Yeast headspace was chemically analyzed, and co-occurrence of insect attractants in yeasts and flowering plants was investigated through a database search. In yeasts with known genomes, we investigated the occurrence of genes involved in the synthesis of key aroma compounds. Flies were attracted to all nine yeasts studied. The behavioral response to baker's yeast was independent of its growth stage. In addition to Drosophila, we tested the basal hexapod Folsomia candida (Collembola) in a Y-tube assay to the most ancient yeast, Y. lipolytica, which proved that early yeast signals also function on clades older than neopteran insects. Behavioral and chemical data and a search for selected genes of volatile metabolites underline that biosynthesis of chemical signals is found throughout the yeast clade and has been conserved during the evolution of yeast lifestyles. Literature and database reviews corroborate that yeast signals mediate mutualistic interactions between insects and yeasts. Moreover, volatiles emitted by yeasts are commonly found also in flowers and attract many insect species. The collective evidence suggests that the release of volatile signals by yeasts is a widespread and phylogenetically ancient trait, and that insect–yeast communication evolved prior to the emergence of flowering plants. Co-occurrence of the same attractant signals in yeast and flowers suggests that yeast-insect communication may have contributed to the evolution of insect-mediated pollination in flowers.

(highlighting by VitiSynth)

Link to paper-

DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3905

Partially indexed reference.

View Interactions

VitiSynth Review
Go Back


Guaranteed Excellence NDtech-   an individualized quality control screening technology for natural cork stoppers that delivers the world’s first natural cork with a non-detectable TCA guarantee*.   *releasable TCA content below the 0.5 ng/L quantification limit; analysis performed in accordance to ISO 20752.

Publication Details

Published: 2018
Publication: Ecology and Evolution
Issue: 2018 Online February 2018
Author: Becher P G 2018

Brain food

Related Video

None for this Entry

Related Audio

None for this Entry

Discuss this Entry

No related discussions available.

Join Discussion

Latest Discussions
Special Report

Date: 29th October 2015
Reference:Journal:Weed Technology:2015:Online October 2015:Devkota P 2015:Influence of Spray Solution Temperature and Holding Duration on Weed Control with Premixed Glyphosate and Dicamba Formulation

Pesticides in general are chemical products, therefore the quality of ...Read more

Date: 3rd February 2015
Polls:0009:Data standards:03 Malvidin-3-glucoside or Malvidin-3-O-glucoside or Malvidin 3-O-β-D-glucoside?

Malvidin-3-glucoside or Malvidin-3-O-glucoside or Malvidin 3-O-β-D-gl...Read more

Date: 26th January 2015
Admin Synth:Guides:Data standards:Wine industry research papers (draft standard)

I think we should be developing a standard for wine industry research ...Read more

Testimonials.. Read more