Air pollution impairs successful mating of flies

A research team at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, demonstrates that high levels of ozone destroy the chemical mating signal of the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster and nine other species of the genus Drosophila and may thus contribute to global insect decline. The oxidizing effect of ozone causes the carbon-carbon double bonds found in the molecules of many insect pheromones to break down. Therefore, the specific chemical mating signal is rendered dysfunctional. Most remarkably, the disrupted sexual communication also led to male flies exhibiting unusual mating behavior towards ozonated males of their own species

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft