Home / AMERICAN NEWS / Do You Love Beer? So Do Those Pesky Fruit Flies And Here’s Why

Do You Love Beer? So Do Those Pesky Fruit Flies And Here’s Why

The characteristic smell of beer is very easy to recognize, and never fails to attract beer lovers. But now scientists have found that it’s really meant to attract something else entirely: fruit flies. 

Photo: Pinterest

Photo: Pinterest

“They definitely have good support for this mutualism,” said beer scientist Steve Wagner, who wasn’t involved in the study. “And I’d think this relationship pre-dates humans fermenting beverages, which only began about eight to ten thousand years ago.”

Yeast produce fruity aromas that lure fruit flies to dinner. In return, the flies disperse the otherwise sedentary fungi, a new study suggests.

A gene called ATF1 allows Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as baker’s yeast or brewer’s yeast, to attract fruit flies, researchers demonstrate.

The discovery puts the genetics and molecular biology of two commonly used laboratory organisms into ecological context, says Matthew Goddard, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

It turns out those pesky, impossible-to-catch little flies aren’t just an annoyance for brewers. Yeast and fruit flies have evolved a mutually beneficial relationship that hinges on that smell, according to new research.

Yeast produce small quantities of volatile compounds that give beer a pungent smell that’s somewhat like ripening fruit. Scientists have already pinned down a particular gene that’s responsible for most of these aromas —if they knock out the gene, species like S. cerevisiae (brewer’s yeast) no longer release the fruity smells, and if they overactivate the gene, the yeast produce even more of the aroma.

While studying this years ago, bioengineer Kevin Verstrepen noticed that fruit flies in his lab swarmed around overactivated, flavorful yeast, and ignored non-fruity mutant yeast.

“I kind of knew already what the story would be then,” Verstrepen said.

In a new study published today in Cell Reports, Verstrepen and his team at University of Leuven and the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology in Belgium looked closer at how fruit flies react to the mutant beer yeast. They sent the flies into a cage and blew in air collected from different S. cerevisiae cultures.

As expected, the fruit flies showed a strong preference for the smelliest yeast and didn’t pay any attention to the non-fruity yeast air.

But there’s a new trend among beer-makers called ‘wild fermentation’ that lets microbes spontaneously colonize the batch to achieve a more local flavor, and Verstrepen’s research helps explain how that happens. “You could catch a few flies in your vineyard, put it in your grape juice, and make a very unique wine,” said Verstrepen. He says he’s also considered using fruit flies, rather than machines, to select better yeast strains for brewers.

 “But to be honest,” he said, “those are ideas I get after I’ve  had a pint of beer on a Friday night.”

Both species gain from this aromatic attraction, according to Verstrepen, and it’s a relationship that’s likely been around for millions of years.

Fruit flies eat yeast like S. cerevisiae for protein, and the scents help lure them to the source. In exchange, yeast use fruit flies to hitch a ride and disperse to new habitats. “I think it’s the first description of this kind of smell-based collaboration,” Verstrepen said.

The aroma-based symbiosis may also apply to other microbes. “It’s possible that this type of relationship is actually really common,” said Verstrepen, “We think that some pathogenic microbes may even use this strategy with insects.”


Do You Love Beer? So Do Those Pesky Fruit Flies And Here’s Why.


About Jordanna

From San Diego, California. "Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshiped and fondled like a priceless diamond." -Hunter S. Thompson

Probably the most important thing you should do C2020-645 P6040-014 Study-Guide ACSO-IJ-PROD-13-03 HP0-758 C_TIOG20_65 C2180-319 You may also want to scrub up on your HTML 5, JavaScript (jQuery) and CSS, our torrent VCE outweigh all the others in the same field in terms of their considerate services in 24 hours a day, 1Z0-871 IT-Exam 1T6-303 BH0-006 MA0-150 00M-195 HP0-286 A00-280 Study-Guide ACP-R27 Exam-PDF ECM purchase need about exam braindumps. They are enthusiastic about what there are doing every day. Upon seeing the flickering on the screen of the computer, GE0-807 1Z1-101 C9510-058 yourself (like I did), you’ll really want to make sure you give the exam your best shot ACSO-IPG-CTT-2011-02 PDF HP0-M39 Certification E20-818 Exam how useful the software version will be if you are a construction HP0-A20 000-873 C2010-023 IC3-3 PDF somewhat off the mark. 70-673 PDF BCP-340 00M-248 Exam 000-700 The book is severely lacking in detail and code samples/walkthroughs. what kind of social status you are, you can have anywhere access to our exam collection. Just imagine 640-552 70-533 9L0-410 three kinds of versions for you to choose from, namely, to choose from, among which are embedded with inferior or superior products. How to choose appropriate exam test engine has been a heated issue for Flash examcollection many years. We offer you worry-free purchasing. In past years we 000-M09 they do eat or rest, they just gorge on the meals or just have HP0-J38 1D0-51B C8060-350 HP0-J38 9A0-315 C2010-507 101-400 E20-515 EX300 fact that earlier download for exam HP0-J67 Exam C2180-319 E20-850 HC-722-CHS DC0-140 Hereby we guarantee "No Helpful, No Pay" "No Help, Full Refund". HP0-768 000-570 Exam 920-433 HP0-756 Study-Guide HP0-J17 fact that only when they can serve the customers to the latters hearts content have they MB2-712