Expression mosaic of odorant-binding proteins in Drosophila olfactory organs



Deciphering the genome of the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster, has revealed 39 genes coding for putative odorant-binding proteins (OBPs), more than are known at present for any other insect species. Using specific antibodies, the expression mosaic of five such OBPs (OS-E, OS-F, LUSH, PBPRP2, PBPRP5) on the antenna and maxillary palp has been mapped in the electron microscope. It was found that (1) OBP expression does correlate with morphological sensillum types and subtypes, (2) several OBPs may be co-localized in the same sensillum, and (3) OBP localization is not restricted to olfactory sensilla. The expression of PBPRP2 in antennal epidermis sheds some light on the possible evolution of OBPs. Microsc. Res. Tech. 55:297–306, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.