Softness sensing and learning in Drosophila larvae

Nana Kudow, Azusa Kamikouchi, Teiichi Tanimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanosensation provides animals with important sensory information in addition to olfaction and gustation during feeding behavior. Here, we used Drosophila melanogaster larvae to investigate the role of softness sensing in behavior and learning. In the natural environment, larvae need to dig into soft foods for feeding. Finding foods that are soft enough to dig into is likely to be essential for their survival. We report that larvae can discriminate between different agar concentrations and prefer softer agar. Interestingly, we show that larvae on a harder surface search for a softer surface using memory associated with an odor, and that they evaluate foods by balancing softness and sweetness. These findings suggest that larvae integrate mechanosensory information with chemosensory input while foraging. Moreover, we found that the larval preference for softness is affected by genetic background.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjeb196329
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemoreception
  • Mechanoreception
  • Sensory integration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Softness sensing and learning in Drosophila larvae'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this