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A central neural circuit for experience-independent olfactory and courtship behavior in Drosophila melanogaster
- Heimbeck, G., Bugnon, V., Gendre, N., Keller, A., Stocker, R.F.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2001 v.98 no.26 pp. 15336-15341
- Drosophila melanogaster, mating behavior, smell, odors, sucrose, taste, neurons, brain, males
- We have studied the function of the major central olfactory pathway in fruit flies. Key elements of this pathway, the projection neurons (PNs), connect the antennal lobes with the lateral protocerebrum both directly and indirectly, the latter via the mushroom bodies (MBs). Transgenic expression of tetanus toxin in the majority of PNs and few MB neurons leads to defects in odor detection and male courtship. Considering behavioral data from flies lacking MBs, our results argue that the direct PN-to-lateral protocerebrum pathway is necessary and sufficient to process these experience-independent behaviors. Moreover, the involvement of an olfactory pathway in male courtship suggests a role of volatile attractive female pheromones in Drosophila.