Cellular identification of water gustatory receptor neurons and their central projection pattern in Drosophila

Tsuyoshi Inoshita, Teiichi Tanimura

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Abstract

Water perception is important for insects, because they are particularly vulnerable to water loss because their body size is small. In Drosophila, gustatory receptor neurons are located at the base of the taste sensilla on the labellum, tarsi, and wing margins. One of the gustatory receptor neurons in typical sensilla is known to respond to water. To reveal the neural mechanisms of water perception in Drosophila, it is necessary to identify water receptor neurons and their projection patterns. We used a Gal4 enhancer trap strain in which GAL4 is expressed in a single gustatory receptor neuron in each sensillum on the labellum. We investigated the function of these neurons by expressing the upstream activating sequence transgenes, shibirets1, tetanus toxin light chain, or diphtheria toxin A chain. Results from the proboscis extension reflex test and electrophysiological recordings indicated that the GAL4-expressing neurons respond to water. We show here that the water receptor neurons project to a specific region in the subesophageal ganglion, thus revealing the water taste sensory map in Drosophila.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-1099
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume103
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 24 2006

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