Odor coding in the Drosophila antenna

Neuron
M de BruyneJ R Carlson

Abstract

Odor coding in the Drosophila antenna is examined by a functional analysis of individual olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in vivo. Sixteen distinct classes of ORNs, each with a unique response spectrum to a panel of 47 diverse odors, are identified by extracellular recordings. ORNs exhibit multiple modes of response dynamics: an individual neuron can show either excitatory or inhibitory responses, and can exhibit different modes of termination kinetics, when stimulated with different odors. The 16 ORN classes are combined in stereotyped configurations within seven functional types of basiconic sensilla. One sensillum type contains four ORNs and the others contain two neurons, combined according to a strict pairing rule. We provide a functional map of ORNs, showing that each ORN class is restricted to a particular spatial domain on the antennal surface.

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