Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Olfactory Learning Supports an Adaptive Sugar-Aversion Gustatory Phenotype in the German Cockroach

Version 1 : Received: 15 July 2021 / Approved: 30 July 2021 / Online: 30 July 2021 (10:49:30 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Wada-Katsumata, A.; Schal, C. Olfactory Learning Supports an Adaptive Sugar-Aversion Gustatory Phenotype in the German Cockroach. Insects 2021, 12, 724. Wada-Katsumata, A.; Schal, C. Olfactory Learning Supports an Adaptive Sugar-Aversion Gustatory Phenotype in the German Cockroach. Insects 2021, 12, 724.

Journal reference: Insects 2021, 12, 724
DOI: 10.3390/insects12080724

Abstract

An association of food sources with odors prominently guides foraging behavior in animals. To understand the interaction of olfactory memory and food preferences, we used glucose-averse (GA) German cockroaches. Multiple populations of cockroaches evolved a gustatory polymorphism where glucose is perceived as a deterrent and enables GA cockroaches to avoid eating glucose-containing toxic baits. Comparative behavioral analysis using an operant conditioning paradigm revealed that learning and memory guide foraging decisions. Cockroaches learned to associate specific food odors with fructose (phagostimulant, reward) within only a 1 hr conditioning session, and with caffeine (deterrent, punishment) after only three 1 hr conditioning sessions. Glucose acted as reward in wild type (WT) cockroaches, but GA cockroaches learned to avoid an innately attractive odor that was associated with glucose. Olfactory memory was retained for at least 3 days after three 1 hr conditioning sessions. Our results reveal that specific tastants can serve as potent reward or punishment in olfactory associative learning, which reinforces gustatory food preferences. Olfactory learning therefore reinforces behavioral resistance of GA cockroaches to sugar-containing toxic baits. Cockroaches may also generalize their olfactory learning to baits that contain the same or similar attractive odors even if they do not contain glucose.

Keywords

Gustation; sugar aversion; German cockroach; olfactory learning; memory; foraging

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