PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-7 (7)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
Year of Publication
1.  Gαo Is Required for L-Canavanine Detection in Drosophila 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e63484.
Taste is an essential sense for the survival of most organisms. In insects, taste is particularly important as it allows to detect and avoid ingesting many plant toxins, such as L-canavanine. We previously showed that L-canavanine is toxic for Drosophila melanogaster and that flies are able to detect this toxin in the food. L-canavanine is a ligand of DmXR, a variant G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) belonging to the metabotropic glutamate receptor subfamily that is expressed in bitter-sensitive taste neurons of Drosophila. To transduce the signal intracellularly, GPCR activate heterotrimeric G proteins constituted of α, β and γ subunits. The aim of this study was to identify which Gα protein was required for L-canavanine detection in Drosophila. By using a pharmacological approach, we first demonstrated that DmXR has the best coupling with Gαo protein subtype. Then, by using genetic, behavioral assays and electrophysiology, we found that Gαo47A is required in bitter-sensitive taste neurons for L-canavanine sensitivity. In conclusion, our study revealed that Gαo47A plays a crucial role in L-canavanine detection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063484
PMCID: PMC3646046  PMID: 23671680
2.  Brief Exposure to Sensory Cues Elicits Stimulus-Nonspecific General Sensitization in an Insect 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e34141.
The effect of repeated exposure to sensory stimuli, with or without reward is well known to induce stimulus-specific modifications of behaviour, described as different forms of learning. In recent studies we showed that a brief single pre-exposure to the female-produced sex pheromone or even a predator sound can increase the behavioural and central nervous responses to this pheromone in males of the noctuid moth Spodoptera littoralis. To investigate if this increase in sensitivity might be restricted to the pheromone system or is a form of general sensitization, we studied here if a brief pre-exposure to stimuli of different modalities can reciprocally change behavioural and physiological responses to olfactory and gustatory stimuli. Olfactory and gustatory pre-exposure and subsequent behavioural tests were carried out to reveal possible intra- and cross-modal effects. Attraction to pheromone, monitored with a locomotion compensator, increased after exposure to olfactory and gustatory stimuli. Behavioural responses to sucrose, investigated using the proboscis extension reflex, increased equally after pre-exposure to olfactory and gustatory cues. Pheromone-specific neurons in the brain and antennal gustatory neurons did, however, not change their sensitivity after sucrose exposure. The observed intra- and reciprocal cross-modal effects of pre-exposure may represent a new form of stimulus-nonspecific general sensitization originating from modifications at higher sensory processing levels.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0034141
PMCID: PMC3311575  PMID: 22457821
4.  Peripheral, Central and Behavioral Responses to the Cuticular Pheromone Bouquet in Drosophila melanogaster Males 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19770.
Pheromonal communication is crucial with regard to mate choice in many animals including insects. Drosophila melanogaster flies produce a pheromonal bouquet with many cuticular hydrocarbons some of which diverge between the sexes and differently affect male courtship behavior. Cuticular pheromones have a relatively high weight and are thought to be — mostly but not only — detected by gustatory contact. However, the response of the peripheral and central gustatory systems to these substances remains poorly explored. We measured the effect induced by pheromonal cuticular mixtures on (i) the electrophysiological response of peripheral gustatory receptor neurons, (ii) the calcium variation in brain centers receiving these gustatory inputs and (iii) the behavioral reaction induced in control males and in mutant desat1 males, which show abnormal pheromone production and perception. While male and female pheromones induced inhibitory-like effects on taste receptor neurons, the contact of male pheromones on male fore-tarsi elicits a long-lasting response of higher intensity in the dedicated gustatory brain center. We found that the behavior of control males was more strongly inhibited by male pheromones than by female pheromones, but this difference disappeared in anosmic males. Mutant desat1 males showed an increased sensitivity of their peripheral gustatory neurons to contact pheromones and a behavioral incapacity to discriminate sex pheromones. Together our data indicate that cuticular hydrocarbons induce long-lasting inhibitory effects on the relevant taste pathway which may interact with the olfactory pathway to modulate pheromonal perception.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019770
PMCID: PMC3098836  PMID: 21625481
5.  Parallel Reinforcement Pathways for Conditioned Food Aversions in the Honeybee 
Current Biology  2010;20(24):2234-2240.
Summary
Avoiding toxins in food is as important as obtaining nutrition. Conditioned food aversions have been studied in animals as diverse as nematodes and humans [1, 2], but the neural signaling mechanisms underlying this form of learning have been difficult to pinpoint. Honeybees quickly learn to associate floral cues with food [3], a trait that makes them an excellent model organism for studying the neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Here we show that honeybees not only detect toxins but can also learn to associate odors with both the taste of toxins and the postingestive consequences of consuming them. We found that two distinct monoaminergic pathways mediate learned food aversions in the honeybee. As for other insect species conditioned with salt or electric shock reinforcers [4–7], learned avoidances of odors paired with bad-tasting toxins are mediated by dopamine. Our experiments are the first to identify a second, postingestive pathway for learned olfactory aversions that involves serotonin. This second pathway may represent an ancient mechanism for food aversion learning conserved across animal lineages.
Highlights
► Learned food avoidances arise from two independent reinforcement pathways ► Detection of toxins requires the responses of multiple gustatory neurons ► Learned avoidance of odors associated with aversive taste involves dopamine ► Learned avoidance of odors associated with toxin ingestion involves serotonin
doi:10.1016/j.cub.2010.11.040
PMCID: PMC3011020  PMID: 21129969
6.  Hedonic Taste in Drosophila Revealed by Olfactory Receptors Expressed in Taste Neurons 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(7):e2610.
Taste and olfaction are each tuned to a unique set of chemicals in the outside world, and their corresponding sensory spaces are mapped in different areas in the brain. This dichotomy matches categories of receptors detecting molecules either in the gaseous or in the liquid phase in terrestrial animals. However, in Drosophila olfactory and gustatory neurons express receptors which belong to the same family of 7-transmembrane domain proteins. Striking overlaps exist in their sequence structure and in their expression pattern, suggesting that there might be some functional commonalities between them. In this work, we tested the assumption that Drosophila olfactory receptor proteins are compatible with taste neurons by ectopically expressing an olfactory receptor (OR22a and OR83b) for which ligands are known. Using electrophysiological recordings, we show that the transformed taste neurons are excited by odor ligands as by their cognate tastants. The wiring of these neurons to the brain seems unchanged and no additional connections to the antennal lobe were detected. The odor ligands detected by the olfactory receptor acquire a new hedonic value, inducing appetitive or aversive behaviors depending on the categories of taste neurons in which they are expressed i.e. sugar- or bitter-sensing cells expressing either Gr5a or Gr66a receptors. Taste neurons expressing ectopic olfactory receptors can sense odors at close range either in the aerial phase or by contact, in a lipophilic phase. The responses of the transformed taste neurons to the odorant are similar to those obtained with tastants. The hedonic value attributed to tastants is directly linked to the taste neurons in which their receptors are expressed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002610
PMCID: PMC2440521  PMID: 18612414
7.  An Inhibitory Sex Pheromone Tastes Bitter for Drosophila Males 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(8):e661.
Sexual behavior requires animals to distinguish between the sexes and to respond appropriately to each of them. In Drosophila melanogaster, as in many insects, cuticular hydrocarbons are thought to be involved in sex recognition and in mating behavior, but there is no direct neuronal evidence of their pheromonal effect. Using behavioral and electrophysiological measures of responses to natural and synthetic compounds, we show that Z-7-tricosene, a Drosophila male cuticular hydrocarbon, acts as a sex pheromone and inhibits male-male courtship. These data provide the first direct demonstration that an insect cuticular hydrocarbon is detected as a sex pheromone. Intriguingly, we show that a particular type of gustatory neurons of the labial palps respond both to Z-7-tricosene and to bitter stimuli. Cross-adaptation between Z-7-tricosene and bitter stimuli further indicates that these two very different substances are processed by the same neural pathways. Furthermore, the two substances induced similar behavioral responses both in courtship and feeding tests. We conclude that the inhibitory pheromone tastes bitter to the fly.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000661
PMCID: PMC1937024  PMID: 17710124

Results 1-7 (7)