PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Pheromones influence death feigning behavior in beetles

Japanese researchers examine the effect of the aggregation pheromone 4,8-dimethyldecanal on the death-feigning behavior of red flour beetles

Pheromones influence death feigning behavior in beetles
2023-10-02
(Press-News.org) Predation is a driving force in the evolution of anti-predator strategies, and death feigning, characterized by immobility in response to threats, is a common defensive mechanism across various animal species. While this behavior can enhance an individual's survival prospects by reducing a predator's interest, it also carries costs, such as limited opportunities for feeding and reproduction. Recently, researchers from Okayama University, Japan, investigated how pheromones, important chemical signals that affect foraging and reproduction, might influence death-feigning behavior in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. 

“Male beetles release an aggregation pheromone called 4,8-dimethyldecanal (DMD), which attracts both males and females, aiding in successful foraging and mating. However, it remained unclear whether this pheromone could affect the duration of death feigning in these beetles,” says Professor Takahisa Miyatake from the Graduate School of Environmental, Life, Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, Japan, who led the study. Prof. Miyatake collaborated with colleagues Motoya Ishikawa and Kentarou Matsumura from the same department on this study. Their findings were published on 13 September 2023 in the Journal of Ethnology. 

The team used a population of T. castaneum that had undergone artificial selection for death-feigning duration for more than 40 generations. The study encompassed two distinct experimental schedules. In the first, beetles were initially exposed to the pheromone, following which their death-feigning duration was measured. In the second schedule, beetles were first evaluated for their death-feigning duration without the presence of the pheromone, and subsequently, the duration was measured with the pheromone introduced. In both scenarios, the researchers meticulously compared the death-feigning durations between the treatments.

The team found that T. castaneum beetles exposed to the DMD pheromone exhibited significantly shorter durations of death feigning compared to their counterparts that were not exposed to the pheromone. This discovery suggests that the mere presence of the aggregation pheromone played a pivotal role in shaping the behavior of these beetles, causing them to curtail their protracted death feigning.

Interestingly, while previous research has primarily focused on the triggers for initiating death feigning, little has been known so far about what cues awaken individuals from this state. The study suggests that aggregation pheromones, like DMD, may serve as one of these awakening factors. This adaptive response allows individuals to save precious time and increase their chances of survival when predators lose interest.

Furthermore, the study brough to light the potential sex-related differences in death-feigning behavior. Previous studies had already indicated that both male and female adult red flour beetles exhibit a strong attraction to DMD, with males even intensifying DMD release upon sensing it. Remarkably, during this investigation, researchers noted that males tended to have a longer duration of death feigning when compared to females. This observation raises intriguing questions about how the sexes allocate their time and energy, particularly in the context of dispersal and reproductive activities.

"Our study suggests that T. castaneum possesses the capacity to adapt its death-feigning duration when it detects the presence of an aggregation pheromone. This represents a remarkable example of behavioral plasticity in response to external chemical cues, as shown by previous studies. This may offer valuable insights into the intricate world of animal instincts, potentially paving the way for further exploration in the future," concludes Prof. Miyatake.

Red flour beetles are known pests. They commonly forage on food products such as flour, grains, cereal, and stored goods. Therefore, studying how they respond to pheromones such as DMD could have enormous agricultural significance. 

A big thanks to the researchers for accurately documenting insect behavior and for conducting research with future environmental implications. 
 

About Okayama University, Japan
As one of the leading universities in Japan, Okayama University aims to create and establish a new paradigm for the sustainable development of the world. Okayama University offers a wide range of academic fields, which become the basis of the integrated graduate schools. This not only allows us to conduct the most advanced and up-to-date research, but also provides an enriching educational experience.
Website: https://www.okayama-u.ac.jp/index_e.html


About Professor Takahisa Miyatake from Okayama University, Japan
Dr. Takahisa Miyatake is a Professor at Okayama University’s Graduate School of Environmental, Life, Natural Science and Technology. He obtained his Ph.D. from Kyushu University, Japan. Prof. Miyatake has over 170 publications to his credit, including those that appeared in Nature Communications and Scientific Reports. His research group primarily focuses on decoding insect behavior, ecology, and evolution. Prof. Miyatake has received multiple research awards for his exemplary work.
 

END

[Attachments] See images for this press release:
Pheromones influence death feigning behavior in beetles Pheromones influence death feigning behavior in beetles 2

ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

Genetics of attraction: mate choice in fruit flies

Genetics of attraction: mate choice in fruit flies
2023-10-02
Genetic quality or genetic compatibility? What do female fruit flies prioritize when mating? Researchers at the University of Zurich show that both factors are important at different stages of the reproductive process and that females use targeted strategies to optimize the fitness of their offspring. Breeding female fruit flies face a difficult decision: do they mate with the male that has the best genes, or with the one whose genes best match their own? Evolutionary biologists from the University of Zurich and Concordia University have now investigated ...

FAU Engineering study employs deep learning to explain extreme events

FAU Engineering study employs deep learning to explain extreme events
2023-10-02
Identifying the underlying cause of extreme events such as floods, heavy downpours or tornados is immensely difficult and can take a concerted effort by scientists over several decades to arrive at feasible physical explanations. Extreme events cause significant deviation from expected behavior and can dictate the overall outcome for a number of scientific problems and practical situations. For example, practical scenarios where a fundamental understanding of extreme events can be of vital importance include rogue waves in the ocean that could endanger ships and offshore structures or increasingly ...

New study uncovers potential treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

New study uncovers potential treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
2023-10-02
A breakthrough study, jointly led by Professor Jang Hyun Choi and Professor Sung Ho Park from the Department of Biological Sciences at UNIST has identified an important factor involved in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) caused by obesity. The research team discovered that Thrap3, a protein associated with thyroid hormone receptors, plays a significant role in exacerbating NAFLD by inhibiting the activity of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a key regulator of fat metabolism in the liver. NAFLD encompasses various metabolic diseases such as fatty hepatitis and cirrhosis resulting from excessive fat accumulation. ...

Susan G. Komen® analysis shows many breast cancer patients struggle to afford basic needs: Housing, transportation, utilities

2023-10-02
Lower income breast cancer patients often struggle to afford life’s necessities such as housing, transportation and utilities due to direct and incidental costs related to their treatment, according to a new analysis by Susan G. Komen®, the world’s leading breast cancer organization. These top needs were identified by Susan G. Komen’s Patient Care Center, which provided nearly $9.1 million in grants to more than 16,000 breast cancer patients from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023, as part of Komen’s direct-to-patient ...

Dense measurement network revealed high level of PM2.5 in Punjab due to crop residue burning and its transport to Haryana and Delhi NCR

Dense measurement network revealed high level of PM2.5 in Punjab due to crop residue burning and its transport to Haryana and Delhi NCR
2023-10-02
A group of international collaborators led by the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN) team performed the first quantitative study of air pollution in the north-western India region using 29 low-cost and reliable instruments, demonstrating the advantages of source region observations to link crop residue burning (CRB) and air pollution at local to regional scales.  Exposure to particulate matter less than 2.5 µm in diameter (popularly known as PM2.5) causes health hazards in cities and major emission regions of the world. Although the major sources ...

Next-generation printing: precise and direct, using optical vortices

Next-generation printing: precise and direct, using optical vortices
2023-10-02
Osaka, Japan – Will printed photographs ever match the precision of a mirror's reflection? Even though the answer may still be no for a while, Osaka Metropolitan University scientists have made significant strides in precision printing with their innovative optical vortex laser-based technique that allows for the precise placement of minuscule droplets with micrometer-scale accuracy. Inkjet technology is a well-known printing technique that emits microdroplets from a nozzle directly onto a surface. However, when the ink droplets are viscous, with high density, ...

Pharmacists can improve access to life-saving vaccines

2023-10-02
HPV, or human papillomavirus, is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It is also the leading cause of cervical cancer. Over 1,400 Canadian women are affected yearly, with almost 400 deaths, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. It is completely preventable with the HPV vaccine, and yet, unfortunately, many people are unvaccinated. University of Waterloo researchers have found a possible solution to this on-going issues. Using an electronic questionnaire at the time of appointment scheduling for seasonal influenza or COVID-19 vaccines, researchers have found, is a quick and efficient way to identify people in Ontario willing to receive additional life-saving vaccines.  “This ...

Researchers studied thousands of fertility attempts hoping to improve IVF

Researchers studied thousands of fertility attempts hoping to improve IVF
2023-10-02
By genetically testing nearly one thousand embryos, scientists have provided the most detailed analysis of embryo fate following human in vitro fertilization. Nearly half the embryos studied underwent developmental arrest   because of genetic mishaps in early development — a revealing insight that suggests more IVF babies could come to term with changes in the fertility treatment process. The unique combination of data from arrested embryos also sheds new light on the still largely mysterious earliest stages of pregnancy through natural ...

Precision medicine navigators increase genomic testing rates for Black patients with prostate cancer

2023-10-02
SAN DIEGO, October 1, 2023 — The presence of a clinical navigator to act as a liaison between people with prostate cancer and the health care system greatly increases the likelihood that patients, especially Black patients, will receive advanced testing that can help predict the severity of their disease and guide treatment, a new study suggests. The study showed patients seen by a precision medicine navigator were substantially more likely to receive genomic testing than those not seen by the navigator. Black patients, whose genomic testing rates traditionally ...

Play in early childhood helps build a better brain, says leading expert

2023-10-02
Dr Jacqueline Harding, director of Tomorrow’s Child and an early childhood expert at Middlesex University, argues that the young child’s brain is inherently designed to be playful and this is crucial for its development. In her new book, The Brain that Loves to Play, she challenges the traditional division between play and learning, emphasizing the essential role of play in early years education and holistic child development. With a renewed vision for the fusion of play and learning, the book aims to contribute to the ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

UC Irvine receives $15 million NSF grant for integrative movement research

University of Houston engineer Metin Akay featured in study highlighting 50 scientists' contributions to biomedical engineering advancements

JWST captures the end of planet formation

Good news—MS drugs taken while breastfeeding may not affect child development

Programs intended to reduce health insurance premiums may make coverage less affordable for the middle class

PrEP discontinuation in a US national cohort of sexual and gender minority populations, 2017–22

USC Study: Medicare Part D plans increased restrictions on drug coverage

Sacituzumab govitecan plus platinum-based chemotherapy in breast, bladder, and lung carcinomas

Global study unveils "problematic" use of porn

Newly discovered protein prevents DNA triplication

Less ice in the arctic ocean has complex effects on marine ecosystems and ocean productivity

Antarctica’s coasts are becoming less icy

New research shows migrating animals learn by experience

Modeling the origins of life: New evidence for an “RNA World”

Scientists put forth a smarter way to protect a smarter grid

An evolutionary mystery 125 million years in the making

Data science approach to identifying thermal conductivity-related structural factors in amorphous materials

Deciphering the male breast cancer genome

Detection of suicide-related emergencies among children using real-world clinical data: A free webinar from the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation

Editor-in-Chief of Sustainability and Climate Change Madhavi Venkatesan named USA TODAY Woman of the Year for Massachusetts for leading plastic bottle ban efforts

Tests show high-temperature superconducting magnets are ready for fusion

Zika vaccine safe, effective when administered during pregnancy

Firearm ownership is correlated with elevated lead levels in children, study finds

Role of African women and young people in agricultural service provision investigated in new CABI-led study

26th International Conference of the Redox Medicine Society Set for June 2024 in Paris, France

Geologists explore the hidden history of Colorado’s Spanish Peaks

Webb unlocks secrets of one of the most distant galaxies ever seen

3D-printed skin closes wounds and contains hair follicle precursors

Discovered a RNA molecule that helps prevent DNA replication errors

Small and overlooked: Amount of repetitive DNA in blood hints at cancer early

[Press-News.org] Pheromones influence death feigning behavior in beetles
Japanese researchers examine the effect of the aggregation pheromone 4,8-dimethyldecanal on the death-feigning behavior of red flour beetles