Recent findings have indicated that the Gr genes for putative gustatory receptors of Drosophila melanogaster are expressed in a spatially restricted pattern among chemosensilla on the labellum. However, evidence for a functional segregation among the chemosensilla is lacking. In this work, labellar chemosensilla were classified and numbered into three groups, L-, I- and S-type, based on their morphology. Electrophysiological responses to sugars and salt were recorded from all the accessible labellar chemosensilla by the tip-recording method. All the L-type sensilla gave good responses to sugars in terms of action potential firing rates, while the probability for successful recordings from the I-type and S-type sensilla was lower. No differences were found in the responses to sugars between chemosensilla belonging to the same type; however, dose-response curves for several different sugars varied among the sensilla types. The L-type sensilla gave the highest frequency of nerve responses to all the sugars. The I-type sensilla also responded to all the sugars bur with a lower magnitude of firing rate than the L-type sensilla. The S-type sensilla gave a good response to sucrose, and lower responses to the other sugars. These results suggest that there might be variations in the expression level or pattern of multiple receptors for sugars among the three types of chemosensilla. The expression pattern of six Gr genes was examined using the Gal4/UAS-GFP system, and sensilla were identified according to the innervation pattern of each GFP-expressing taste cell. None of the spatial expression patterns of the six Gr genes corresponded to the sugar sensitivity differences we observed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology