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Drosophila neural circuitry

Daisuke Yamamoto, Soh Kohatsu
The fruitless (fru) gene in Drosophila has been proposed to play a master regulator role in the formation of neural circuitries for male courtship behavior, which is typically considered to be an innate behavior composed of a fixed action pattern as generated by the central pattern generator. However, recent studies have shed light on experience-dependent changes and sensory-input-guided plasticity in courtship behavior. For example, enhanced male-male courtship, a fru mutant "hallmark," disappears when fru-mutant males are raised in isolation...
November 23, 2016: Fly
Hania J Pavlou, Andrew C Lin, Megan C Neville, Tetsuya Nojima, Fengqiu Diao, Brian E Chen, Benjamin H White, Stephen F Goodwin
Copulation is the goal of the courtship process, crucial to reproductive success and evolutionary fitness. Identifying the circuitry underlying copulation is a necessary step towards understanding universal principles of circuit operation, and how circuit elements are recruited into the production of ordered action sequences. Here, we identify key sex-specific neurons that mediate copulation in Drosophila, and define a sexually dimorphic motor circuit in the male abdominal ganglion that mediates the action sequence of initiating and terminating copulation...
November 15, 2016: ELife
Antoine Wystrach, Konstantinos Lagogiannis, Barbara Webb
Taxis behaviour in Drosophila larva is thought to consist of distinct control mechanisms triggering specific actions. Here, we support a simpler hypothesis: that taxis results from direct sensory modulation of continuous lateral oscillations of the anterior body, sparing the need for 'action selection'. Our analysis of larvae motion reveals a rhythmic, continuous lateral oscillation of the anterior body, encompassing all head-sweeps, small or large, without breaking the oscillatory rhythm. Further, we show that an agent-model that embeds this hypothesis reproduces a surprising number of taxis signatures observed in larvae...
October 18, 2016: ELife
Emilio Salazar-Gatzimas, Juyue Chen, Matthew S Creamer, Omer Mano, Holly B Mandel, Catherine A Matulis, Joseph Pottackal, Damon A Clark
Animals estimate visual motion by integrating light intensity information over time and space. The integration requires nonlinear processing, which makes motion estimation circuitry sensitive to specific spatiotemporal correlations that signify visual motion. Classical models of motion estimation weight these correlations to produce direction-selective signals. However, the correlational algorithms they describe have not been directly measured in elementary motion-detecting neurons (EMDs). Here, we employed stimuli to directly measure responses to pairwise correlations in Drosophila's EMD neurons, T4 and T5...
October 5, 2016: Neuron
Gordon J Berman, William Bialek, Joshua W Shaevitz
Even the simplest of animals exhibit behavioral sequences with complex temporal dynamics. Prominent among the proposed organizing principles for these dynamics has been the idea of a hierarchy, wherein the movements an animal makes can be understood as a set of nested subclusters. Although this type of organization holds potential advantages in terms of motion control and neural circuitry, measurements demonstrating this for an animal's entire behavioral repertoire have been limited in scope and temporal complexity...
October 18, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Randall M Golovin, Kendal Broadie
Evidence accumulating over the past 15 years soundly refutes the dogma that the Drosophila nervous system is hardwired. The preponderance of studies reveals activity-dependent neural circuit refinement driving optimization of behavioral outputs. We describe developmental, sensory input-dependent plasticity in the brain olfactory antennal lobe, which we term long-term central adaption (LTCA). LTCA is evoked by prolonged exposure to an odorant during the first week of posteclosion life, resulting in a persistently decreased response to aversive odors and an enhanced response to attractive odors...
December 1, 2016: Journal of Neurophysiology
Pavel Masek, Alex C Keene
Taste allows animals to discriminate the value and potential toxicity of food prior to ingestion. Many tastants elicit an innate attractive or avoidance response that is modifiable with nutritional state and prior experience. A powerful genetic tool kit, well-characterized gustatory system, and standardized behavioral assays make the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, an excellent system for investigating taste processing and memory. Recent studies have used this system to identify the neural basis for acquired taste preference...
June 2016: Journal of Neurogenetics
Hiroki Ito, Kosei Sato, Shu Kondo, Ryu Ueda, Daisuke Yamamoto
The Drosophila fruitless (fru) gene is regarded as a master regulator of the formation of male courtship circuitry, yet little is known about its molecular basis of action. We show that roundabout 1 (robo1) knockdown in females promotes formation of the male-specific neurite in sexually dimorphic mAL interneurons and that overexpression of the male-specific Fru(BM) diminishes the expression of Robo1 in the fly brain. Our electrophoretic mobility shift and reporter assays identify the 42-bp segment encompassing the palindrome sequence T T C G C T G C G C C G T G A A in the 5' UTR of robo1 exon1 as the Fru(BM)-responsive element...
June 20, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Masayuki Koganezawa, Ken-Ichi Kimura, Daisuke Yamamoto
Courtship and aggression are induced in a mutually exclusive manner in male Drosophila melanogaster, which quickly chooses one of these behavioral repertoires to run depending on whether the encountered conspecific is a female or male, yet the neural mechanism underlying this decision making remains obscure. By targeted excitation and synaptic blockage in a subset of brain neurons, we demonstrate here that the fruitless (fru)-negative subfraction (∼20 cells) of a doublesex-positive neural cluster, pC1, acts as the aggression-triggering center whereas the fru-positive subfraction (∼20 cells) of pC1 acts as the courtship-triggering center, and that the mutually exclusive activation of these two centers is attained by a double-layered inhibitory switch composed of two fru single-positive clusters, LC1 and mAL...
June 6, 2016: Current Biology: CB
Hung-Chang Shen, Jia-Yi Wei, Sao-Yu Chu, Pei-Chi Chung, Tsai-Chi Hsu, Hung-Hsiang Yu
In the Drosophila olfactory system, odorant information is sensed by olfactory sensory neurons and relayed from the primary olfactory center, the antennal lobe (AL), to higher olfactory centers via olfactory projection neurons (PNs). A major portion of the AL is constituted with dendrites of four groups of PNs, anterodorsal PNs (adPNs), lateral PNs (lPNs), lateroventral PNs (lvPNs) and ventral PNs (vPNs). Previous studies have been focused on the development and function of adPNs and lPNs, while the investigation on those of lvPNs and vPNs received less attention...
2016: PloS One
Ziv M Williams
Whether specific learning experiences by parents influence the behavior of subsequent generations remains unclear. This study examines whether and what aspects of parental sensorimotor training prior to conception affect the behavior of subsequent generations and identifies the neural circuitries in Drosophila responsible for mediating these effects. Using genetic and anatomic techniques, I find that both first- and second-generation offspring of parents who underwent prolonged olfactory training over many days displayed a weak but selective approach bias to the same trained odors...
May 2016: Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
R Tanaka, H Murakami, M Ote, D Yamamoto
How behavioural diversity emerged in evolution is an unexplored subject in biology. To tackle this problem, genes and circuits for a behaviour need to be determined in different species for phylogenetic comparisons. The recently developed clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR associated protein9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system made such a challenge possible by providing the means to induce mutations in a gene of interest in any organism. Aiming at elucidating diversification in genetic and neural networks for courtship behaviour, we attempted to generate a genetic tool kit in Drosophila subobscura, a nonmodel species distantly related to the genetic model Drosophila melanogaster...
August 2016: Insect Molecular Biology
Dan Landayan, Fred W Wolf
The neural circuitry and molecules that control the rewarding properties of food and drugs of abuse appear to partially overlap in the mammalian brain. This has raised questions about the extent of the overlap and the precise role of specific circuit elements in reward and in other behaviors associated with feeding regulation and drug responses. The much simpler brain of invertebrates including the fruit fly Drosophila, offers an opportunity to make high-resolution maps of the circuits and molecules that govern behavior...
December 2015: Biomedical Journal
Aljoscha Leonhardt, Georg Ammer, Matthias Meier, Etienne Serbe, Armin Bahl, Alexander Borst
The reliable estimation of motion across varied surroundings represents a survival-critical task for sighted animals. How neural circuits have adapted to the particular demands of natural environments, however, is not well understood. We explored this question in the visual system of Drosophila melanogaster. Here, as in many mammalian retinas, motion is computed in parallel streams for brightness increments (ON) and decrements (OFF). When genetically isolated, ON and OFF pathways proved equally capable of accurately matching walking responses to realistic motion...
May 2016: Nature Neuroscience
Caleb A Doll, Kendal Broadie
Neural circuit optimization occurs through sensory activity-dependent mechanisms that refine synaptic connectivity and information processing during early-use developmental critical periods. Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP), the gene product lost in Fragile X syndrome (FXS), acts as an activity sensor during critical period development, both as an RNA-binding translation regulator and channel-binding excitability regulator. Here, we employ a Drosophila FXS disease model to assay calcium signaling dynamics with a targeted transgenic GCaMP reporter during critical period development of the mushroom body (MB) learning/memory circuit...
May 2016: Neurobiology of Disease
Hannah Haberkern, Vivek Jayaraman
Cognition encompasses a range of higher-order mental processes, such as attention, working memory, and model-based decision-making. These processes are thought to involve the dynamic interaction of multiple central brain regions. A mechanistic understanding of such computations requires not only monitoring and manipulating specific neural populations during behavior, but also knowing the connectivity of the underlying circuitry. These goals are experimentally challenging in mammals, but are feasible in numerically simpler insect brains...
April 2016: Current Opinion in Neurobiology
Ronald L Davis
This SnapShot summarizes current knowledge about the molecules and circuitry that mediate olfactory memory formation in Drosophila, with emphasis on neural circuits carrying the learned sensory information; the molecular mechanisms for acquisition, memory storage, and forgetting; and the output pathways for memory expression. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF.
October 8, 2015: Cell
Chuan Zhou, Romain Franconville, Alexander G Vaughan, Carmen C Robinett, Vivek Jayaraman, Bruce S Baker
Animals use acoustic signals across a variety of social behaviors, particularly courtship. In Drosophila, song is detected by antennal mechanosensory neurons and further processed by second-order aPN1/aLN(al) neurons. However, little is known about the central pathways mediating courtship hearing. In this study, we identified a male-specific pathway for courtship hearing via third-order ventrolateral protocerebrum Projection Neuron 1 (vPN1) neurons and fourth-order pC1 neurons. Genetic inactivation of vPN1 or pC1 disrupts song-induced male-chaining behavior...
September 21, 2015: ELife
Stephanie D Albin, Karla R Kaun, Jon-Michael Knapp, Phuong Chung, Ulrike Heberlein, Julie H Simpson
Hunger is a complex motivational state that drives multiple behaviors. The sensation of hunger is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. One immediate response to hunger is increased food consumption. Hunger also modulates behaviors related to food seeking such as increased locomotion and enhanced sensory sensitivity in both insects and vertebrates. In addition, hunger can promote the expression of food-associated memory. Although progress is being made, how hunger is represented in the brain and how it coordinates these behavioral responses is not fully understood in any system...
September 21, 2015: Current Biology: CB
Richard Benton
Characterizing microcircuit motifs in intact nervous systems is essential to relate neural computations to behavior. In this issue of Neuron, Clowney et al. (2015) identify recurring, parallel feedforward excitatory and inhibitory pathways in male Drosophila's courtship circuitry, which might explain decisive mate choice.
September 2, 2015: Neuron
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