Identification of odors from overripe mango that attract vinegar flies, Drosophila melanogaster

Junwei Zhu, Kye Chung Park, Thomas C. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Bioassays with a variety of overripe fruits, including mango, plum, pear, and grape, and their extracts showed that odors from overripe mango were most attractive to adult vinegar flies, Drosophila melanogaster. Combined gas chromatography-electroantennographic detection (GC-EAD) analyses of solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and Tenax extracts of overripe mango odors showed that several volatile compounds, including ethanol, acetic acid, amyl acetate, 2-phenylethanol, and phenylethyl acetate elicited significant EAG responses from antennae of female flies. Most of the volatile compounds in the extracts were identified by mass spectral and retention index comparisons with synthetic standards. In cage bioassays, lures with a blend of ethanol, acetic acid, and 2-phenylethanol in a ratio of 1:22:5 attracted six times more flies than any single EAG-active compound. This blend also attracted four times more flies than traps baited with overripe mango or unripe mango. However, in field trials, the blend was not as attractive as suggested by the laboratory bioassay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)899-909
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Ecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry


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