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Keywords:

  • Drosophila;
  • olfactory sense organs;
  • odorant receptors;
  • glomeruli;
  • antennal lobe

Abstract

We have used green fluorescent protein to trace the projection patterns of olfactory neurons expressing identified candidate odorant receptors to the brain of Drosophila. At the periphery, receptor expression correlates with specific sense-organ subtype, independent of location on the antennal surface. The majority of neurons expressing a given receptor converge onto one or two major glomeruli as described previously. However, we detected a few additional glomeruli, which are less intensely innervated and also tend to be somewhat variable. This means that functionally similar olfactory neurons connect to small subsets of glomeruli rather than to a single glomerulus as believed previously. This finding has important implications for our understanding of odor coding and the generation of olfactory behavior. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Neurobiol 54: 577–592, 2003