Fruit fly bioassay to distinguish "sweet" sugar structures

Jason Hodoniczky, Gregory J. Robinson, Elizabeth A. McGraw, Anne L. Rae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Palatable response to dietary sugars plays a significant role in influencing metabolic health. New structures are being explored with beneficial health properties, although consumer acceptance relies heavily on desirable sensory properties. Despite the importance of behavioral responses, the ability to elucidate structure-preference relationships of sugars is lacking. A wild population of Drosophila melanogaster was used as a model to perform pairwise comparisons across structural groups to characterize a fruit fly bioassay for assessing sugar preference. Preference was successfully described in structurally relevant terms, particularly through the ability to directly test sugars of related structures in addition to standard sucrose comparisons. The fruit fly bioassay also provided the first report on the relative preference for the β-linked sugar alcohol, gentiobiitol. In making reference to well-known human preferences, the bioassay also raises opportunities for greater understanding of behavioral response to sugar structures in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12885-12889
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of agricultural and food chemistry
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 22 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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