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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Physiol. | doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.01423

Responsiveness to sugar solutions in the moth Agrotis ipsilon: parameters affecting proboscis extension

 Camille HOSTACHY1, Philippe Couzi2, Melissa HANAFI-PORTIER3, 4, Guillaume PORTEMER5, Alexandre HALLEGUEN6, Meena MURMU7,  Nina Deisig8 and  Matthieu DACHER6*
  • 1Institute of Ecology and Environemental Sciences of Paris, Sorbonne Universités, France
  • 2Institute for Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, INRA Centre Versailles-Grignon, France
  • 3Institute of Systematic, Evolution, Biodiversity, Muséum National d'Histoire naturelle (France), France
  • 4Unite d'Etude des Ecosystemes Profonds / Laboratoire Environnement Profond, Département Ressources physiques et Écosystèmes de fond de Mer, Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer, France
  • 5Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciecnes of Paris, INRA Centre Versailles-Grignon, France
  • 6Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, Sorbonne Universités, France
  • 7Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, INRA Centre Versailles-Grignon, France
  • 8Institut für Zoologie, University of Cologne, Germany

Adult moths need energy and nutrients for reproducing, and obtain them mainly by consuming flower nectar (a solution of sugars and other compounds). Gustatory perception gives them information on the plants they feed on. Feeding and food perception are integrated in the proboscis extension response, which occurs when their antennae touch a sugar solution. We took advantage of this reflex to explore moth sugar responsiveness depending on different parameters (i.e. sex, age, satiety, site of presentation, composition of the solution). We observed that starvation but not age induced higher response rates to sucrose. Presentation of sucrose solutions in a randomized order confirmed that repeated sugar stimulations did not affect the response rate; however, animals were sometimes sensitized to water, indicating sucrose presentation might induce non-associative plasticity. Leg stimulation was much less efficient than antennal stimulation to elicit a response. Quinine prevented and terminated sucrose-elicited proboscis extension. Males but not females responded slightly more to sucrose than to fructose. Animals of either sex rarely reacted to glucose but curiously, mixtures in which half sucrose or fructose were replaced by glucose elicited the same response rate than sucrose or fructose alone. Fructose synergized the response when mixed with sucrose in male but not female moths. This is consistent with the fact that nectars consumed by moths in nature are mixtures of these three sugars, which suggests an adaptation to nectar perception.

Keywords: Sugar responsiveness, moth, proboscis extension response (PER), Gustatory perception., Quinine, sugar, nectar, Dose-response curves

Received: 20 Jun 2019; Accepted: 04 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 HOSTACHY, Couzi, HANAFI-PORTIER, PORTEMER, HALLEGUEN, MURMU, Deisig and DACHER. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Matthieu DACHER, Sorbonne Universités, Institute of Ecology and Environmental Sciences of Paris, Paris, France,