Anatomical and molecular design of the Drosophila antenna as a flagellar auditory organ

Authors

  • Sokol V. Todi,

    1. Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    2. Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
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  • Yashoda Sharma,

    1. Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
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  • Daniel F. Eberl

    Corresponding author
    1. Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    2. Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
    • Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242-1324
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Abstract

The molecular basis of hearing is less well understood than many other senses. However, recent studies in Drosophila have provided some important steps towards a molecular understanding of hearing. In this report, we summarize these findings and their implications on the relationship between hearing and touch. In Drosophila, hearing is accomplished by Johnston's Organ, a chordotonal organ containing over 150 scolopidia within the second antennal segment. We will discuss anatomical features of the antenna and how they contribute to the function of this flagellar auditory receptor. The effects of several mutants, identified through mutagenesis screens or as homologues of vertebrate auditory genes, will be summarized. Based on evidence gathered from these studies, we propose a speculative model for how the chordotonal organ might function. Microsc. Res. Tech. 63:388–399, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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