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Distinct sensory representations of wind and near-field sound in the Drosophila brain

Citation

Yorozu, Suzuko (2010) Distinct sensory representations of wind and near-field sound in the Drosophila brain. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:05282010-134450366

Abstract

Behavioral responses to wind are thought to play a critical role in controlling the dispersal and population genetics of wild Drosophila species, as well as their navigation in flight, but their underlying neurobiological basis is unknown. I show that Drosophila melanogaster, like wild-caught Drosophila strains, exhibits robust wind-induced suppression of locomotion (WISL), in response to air currents delivered at speeds normally encountered in nature. Furthermore, I identify wind-sensitive neurons in the Johnston’s organ (JO), an antennal mechanosensory structure previously implicated in near-field sound detection. Using Gal4 lines targeted to different subsets of JO neurons, and a genetically encoded calcium indicator, I show that wind and near-field sound (courtship song) activate distinct JO populations, which project to different regions of the antennal and mechanosensory motor center (AMMC) in the central brain. Selective genetic ablation of wind-sensitive JO neurons in the antenna abolishes WISL behavior, without impairing hearing. Different neuronal sub-populations within the wind-sensitive population, moreover, respond to different directions of arista deflection caused by airflow and project to different regions of the AMMC, providing a rudimentary map of wind direction in the brain. Importantly, sound- and wind-sensitive JO neurons exhibit different intrinsic response properties: the former are phasically activated by small, bidirectional displacements of the aristae, while the latter are tonically activated by unidirectional, static deflections of larger magnitude. These different intrinsic properties are well suited to the detection of oscillatory pulses of near-field sound and laminar airflow, respectively. These data identify wind-sensitive neurons in JO, a structure that has been primarily associated with hearing, and reveal how the brain can distinguish different types of air particle movements, using a common sensory organ.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Drosophila, Neurobiology, wind, near-field sound, Johnston's organ, antenna,
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Biology
Major Option:Biology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Anderson, David J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Sternberg, Paul W. (chair)
  • Zinn, Kai George
  • Dickinson, Michael H.
  • Benzer, Seymour
  • Anderson, David J.
Defense Date:10 May 2010
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05282010-134450366
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:05282010-134450366
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5882
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Suzuko Yorozu
Deposited On:06 Sep 2012 16:51
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 03:26

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