Farnesol-detecting olfactory neurons in drosophila

David S. Ronderos, Chun Chieh Lin, Christopher J. Potter, Dean P. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We set out to deorphanize a subset of putative Drosophila odorant receptors expressed in trichoid sensilla using a transgenic in vivo misexpression approach. We identified farnesol as a potent and specific activator for the orphan odorant receptor Or83c. Farnesol is an intermediate in juvenile hormone biosynthesis, but is also produced by ripe citrus fruit peels. Here, we show that farnesol stimulates robust activation of Or83c-expressing olfactory neurons, even at high dilutions. The CD36 homolog Snmp1 is required for normal farnesol response kinetics. The neurons expressing Or83c are found in a subset of poorly characterized intermediate sensilla. We show that these neurons mediate attraction behavior to low concentrations of farnesol and that Or83c receptor mutants are defective for this behavior. Or83c neurons innervate the DC3 glomerulus in the antennal lobe and projection neurons relaying information from this glomerulus to higher brain centers target a region of the lateral horn previously implicated in pheromone perception. Our findings identify a sensitive, narrowly tuned receptor that mediates attraction behavior to farnesol and demonstrates an effective approach to deorphanizing odorant receptors expressed in neurons located in intermediate and trichoid sensilla that may not function in the classical "empty basiconic neuron" system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3959-3968
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume34
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Empty neuron
  • Intermediate sensilla
  • Olfaction
  • Orphan receptor
  • Receptor mutant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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