Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) regulates female reproduction via sex pheromone regulation without affecting larval development in Drosophila melanogaster

Phoebe B. Chen1, Lynnea Young1, Ju Hyeon Kim1, Weipeng Qi1, John M. Clark1, Yeonhwa Park1,*
Author Information & Copyright
1University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003, United States.
*Corresponding Author: Yeonhwa Park, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003, United States. E-mail:

© Copyright 2020 Korean Society for Food Science of Animal Resources. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: Apr 18, 2020; Revised: Apr 22, 2020; Accepted: Apr 22, 2020

Published Online: Apr 24, 2020


Knowledge on the potential role of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on reproduction and development is currently limited. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to determine the effects of CLA on reproduction and development using the Drosophila model. In this study, adult and larva Drosophila melanogaster (D. melanogaster) were fed fly food with 0.5% water (blank), CLA (50:50 of cis-9, trans-11 and trans-10, cis-12 CLA isomers in triglyceride form) or safflower oil (69% linoleic acid, LA, as control) to examine the effects of CLA on fecundity, sex pheromones, transcription level of oogenesis, larval body composition, and eclosion time. CLA-treated females had lowered brood size without changes in hatchability, along with decreased 7,11-heptacosadiene and 7,11-nonacosadiene, the principle female pheromones, when compared to LA and blank. Moreover, CLA reduced transcription level of lipid storage droplet-2 (lsd-2) compared to LA. CLA did not influence larval composition nor eclosion time. In conclusion, CLA inhibited reproduction capability in D. melanogaster in part via reduced fatty acid-derived signaling pheromone and oogenesis modulations. As key biological processes are conserved between humans and flies, knowledge from this research may provide valuable insight into reproduction and development responses to CLA.

Keywords: conjugated linoleic acid; CLA; Drosophila melanogaster; reproducton; pheromone