Drosophila Olfaction

Quentin Gaudry and Jonathan Schenk

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Neuroscience

Published online January 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190264086 | DOI:

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  • Sensory and Motor Systems
  • Invertebrate Neurobiology


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Olfactory systems are tasked with converting the chemical environment into electrical signals that the brain can use to optimize behaviors such as navigating towards resources, finding mates, or avoiding danger. Drosophila melanogaster has long served as a model system for several attributes of olfaction. Such features include sensory coding, development, and the attempt to link sensory perception to behavior. The strength of Drosophila as a model system for neurobiology lies in the myriad of genetic tools made available to the experimentalist, and equally importantly, the numerical reduction in cell numbers within the olfactory circuit. Modern techniques have recently made it possible to target nearly all cell types in the antennal lobe to directly monitor their physiological activity or to alter their expression of endogenous proteins or transgenes.

Keywords: Drosophila; olfaction; chemosensation; development; odor coding; sensory; modulation; antennal lobe; mushroom body; lateral horn; plasticity

Article.  15378 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sensory and Motor Systems ; Invertebrate Neurobiology

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