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Interspecific variation of olfactory preferences in flies, mice, and humans

By Diogo Manoel, Melanie Makhlouf, Antonio Scialdone, Luis R Saraiva

Posted 03 Jul 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/358713 (published DOI: 10.1093/chemse/bjy074)

Aiming to unravel interspecific differences in olfactory preferences, we performed comparative studies of odor valence in flies, mice, and humans. Our analysis revealed that odor preferences of flies correlate positively with the ones of mice and negatively with the ones of humans, but found no evidence supporting the hypothesis that humans and mice prefer the same odors. We further find that odorants eliciting the highest and lowest preferences are often advertising critical biological sources (e.g., food or oviposition sites), suggesting that evolutionary pressures reflecting the ecological needs of each species shape olfactory preferences.

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