The long-term goal of this project is to explain the logic by which chemical signals are encoded, and to elucidate basic principles of the organization and development of the neurons that encode them. The experimental plan takes advantage of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster as a model system, which allows incisive molecular genetic analysis of chemosensory genes as well as physiological and behavioral analysis of chemosensory function. The project investigates a new family of 30 predicted chemoreceptor genes, the IR20a family, whose expression and function are completely unexplored.
The first aim i s to map these genes to neurons of chemosensory organs in the adult fly, and to examine their projections in the central nervous system.
The aim i s designed to address a major problem in sensory biology: how a sensory system integrates the multiple inputs that are ultimately translated into a behavioral response. A likely outcome of this aim is that it will support the identity of the IR20a family as a major new family of invertebrate taste receptors.
The second aim i s to produce a receptor-to-neuron map in the larval stage. The coexpression of these receptors with each other and with other classes of chemoreceptors will be analyzed. Their developmental profile and cellular location of expression in neurons will be determined.
This aim i s expected to support the identity of these receptors as a major new family of larval taste receptors.
The third aim tests the function of these receptors directly. Hypotheses concerning roles in chemoreception and in neuronal development will be tested through physiological and behavioral measurements, and by examination of neuronal morphology and projections. A model in which they play a dual role in the regulation of feeding will be tested. The molecular and cellular basis of feeding regulation has major implications for public health. Diseases carried by insects afflict hundreds of millions of people each year, and many of these insects locate their human hosts and their mates through chemosensory cues. Advances in the understanding of chemosensory reception may lead to new means of controlling these insect vectors of human disease.

Public Health Relevance

Insects transmit disease to hundreds of millions of people each year, and many insect vectors of disease identify humans through their chemosensory systems. This project is designed to reveal basic principles of insect chemosensation and could be useful in developing new means of preventing insects from identifying humans. The project also concerns the molecular and cellular basis of a decision, whether to accept or reject a potential food source, which is made by all animals and which has important implications for public health.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01DC004729-12
Application #
8209273
Study Section
Neurodifferentiation, Plasticity, and Regeneration Study Section (NDPR)
Program Officer
Sullivan, Susan L
Project Start
2001-01-01
Project End
2015-12-31
Budget Start
2012-01-01
Budget End
2012-12-31
Support Year
12
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$351,816
Indirect Cost
$139,316
Name
Yale University
Department
Biochemistry
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
043207562
City
New Haven
State
CT
Country
United States
Zip Code
06520
Delventhal, Rebecca; Carlson, John R (2016) Bitter taste receptors confer diverse functions to neurons. Elife 5:
Joseph, Ryan M; Carlson, John R (2015) Drosophila Chemoreceptors: A Molecular Interface Between the Chemical World and the Brain. Trends Genet 31:683-95
Delventhal, Rebecca; Kiely, Aidan; Carlson, John R (2014) Electrophysiological recording from Drosophila labellar taste sensilla. J Vis Exp :e51355
Kwon, Jae Young; Dahanukar, Anupama; Weiss, Linnea A et al. (2014) A map of taste neuron projections in the Drosophila CNS. J Biosci 39:565-74
Menuz, Karen; Larter, Nikki K; Park, Joori et al. (2014) An RNA-seq screen of the Drosophila antenna identifies a transporter necessary for ammonia detection. PLoS Genet 10:e1004810
Koh, Tong-Wey; He, Zhe; Gorur-Shandilya, Srinivas et al. (2014) The Drosophila IR20a clade of ionotropic receptors are candidate taste and pheromone receptors. Neuron 83:850-65
Ling, Frederick; Dahanukar, Anupama; Weiss, Linnea A et al. (2014) The molecular and cellular basis of taste coding in the legs of Drosophila. J Neurosci 34:7148-64
Su, Chih-Ying; Carlson, John R (2013) Neuroscience. Circuit logic of avoidance and attraction. Science 340:1295-7
Koh, Tong-Wey; Carlson, John R (2013) Interspecies sex and taste. Cell 154:20-1
Martelli, Carlotta; Carlson, John R; Emonet, Thierry (2013) Intensity invariant dynamics and odor-specific latencies in olfactory receptor neuron response. J Neurosci 33:6285-97

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