PMID: 7932299Sep 1, 1994Paper

Altered mechanoreceptor response in Drosophila bang-sensitive mutants

Journal of Comparative Physiology. A, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology
J E Engel, C F Wu


Bang-sensitive mutants of Drosophila melanogaster (bas1, bssMW1, eas2, tko25t) display seizure followed by paralysis when subjected to mechanical shock. However, no physiological or biochemical defect has been found to be common to all of these mutants. In order to observe the effects of bang-sensitive mutations upon an identified neuron, and to study the nature of mechanically induced paralysis, we examined the response of a mechanosensory neuron in these mutants. In each single mutant and the double mutant bas1 bssMW1, the frequency of action potentials in response to a bristle displacement was reduced. This is the first demonstration of a physiological defect common to several of the bang-sensitive mutations. Adaptation of spike frequency, cumulative adaptation to repeated stimulation (fatigue) and the time course of recovery from adaptation were also examined. Recovery from adaptation to a conditioning stimulus was examined in two mutants (bas1 and bssMW1), and initial recovery from adaptation was greater in both mutants. Quantification of receptor potentials was complicated by variability inherent in extracellular recording conditions, but examination of the waveform and range of amplitudes did not indicate clear mutant de...Continue Reading


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