May 31, 2016

Distinct combinations of variant ionotropic glutamate receptors mediate thermosensation and hygrosensation in Drosophila

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Zachary A KnechtPaul A Garrity

Abstract

Ionotropic Receptors (IRs) are a large subfamily of variant ionotropic glutamate receptors present across Protostomia. While these receptors are most extensively studied for their roles in chemosensory detection in insects, recent work has implicated two family members, IR21a and IR25a, in thermosensation in Drosophila. Here we characterize one of the most deeply conserved receptors, IR93a, and show that it is co-expressed and functions with IR21a and IR25a to mediate physiological and behavioral responses to cool temperatures. IR93a is also co-expressed with IR25a and a distinct receptor, IR40a, in a discrete population of sensory neurons in the sacculus, a multi-chambered pocket within the antenna. We demonstrate that this combination of receptors is important for neuronal responses to dry air and behavioral discrimination of humidity differences. Our results identify IR93a as a common component of molecularly and cellularly distinct IR pathways underlying thermosensation and hygrosensation in insects.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Protostomia
Drosophila
Antenna Complex
Neuronal
Afferent Neuron
Psathyrella
Drosophila
Ionotropic receptor
Saccule Structure

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