Re-classification of Drosophila melanogaster trichoid and intermediate sensilla using fluorescence-guided single sensillum recording

Chun Chieh Lin, Christopher J. Potter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Drosophila olfactory receptor neurons are found within specialized sensory hairs on antenna and maxillary palps. The linking of odorant-induced responses to olfactory neuron activities is often accomplished via Single Sensillum Recordings (SSR), in which an electrode inserted into a single sensory hair records the neuronal activities of all the neurons housed in that sensillum. The identification of the recorded sensillum requires matching the neuronal responses with known odor-response profiles. To record from specific sensilla, or to systematically screen all sensillar types, requires repetitive and semi-random SSR experiments. Here, we validate an approach in which the GAL4/UAS binary expression system is used for targeting specific sensilla for recordings. We take advantage of available OrX-Gal4 lines, in combination with recently generated strong membrane targeted GFP reporters, to guide electrophysiological recordings to GFP-labeled sensilla. We validate a full set of reagents that can be used to rapidly screen the odor-response profiles of all basiconic, intermediate, and trichoid sensilla. Fluorescence-guided SSR further revealed that two antennal trichoid sensilla types should be re-classified as intermediate sensilla. This approach provides a simple and practical addition to a proven method for investigating olfactory neurons, and can be extended by the addition of UAS-geneX effectors for gain-of-function or loss-offunction studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0139675
JournalPloS one
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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