In the wild, numerous species of Drosophila coexist leading to direct or indirect competition for overlapping resources. Despite the differences in host preference, the reproductive success of every species relies on choices made during mating and oviposition behaviors. As such selecting a suitable site for oviposition is fundamental for every female.
Drosophila melanogaster and D. suzukii are two species which have been shown to coexist. However, the species exhibits a slightly different mating pattern. In addition, their preference for oviposition site differs based on the developmental stage of the host. Currently it is unknown how the presence of one species influences oviposition site selection in the other species. We hypothesized that there is competition avoidance during oviposition site selection, and that the avoidance is modulated by chemical cues produced by the flies. To test our hypothesis, we designed a project (on-going) aimed at determining D. melanogaster–D. suzukii interaction during oviposition site selection.
Charles Kwadha (http://drosophila-suzukii.se/su/teams/charles-kwadha/), who is involved in the project has recently a research grant- Gösta and Anna-Birgit Henriksson’s fund 2019 which will support the on-going research activities, and a travel grant-Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation 2019 which will support him to attend an International Chemical Ecology (ICE) workshop.