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A conserved dedicated olfactory circuit for detecting harmful microbes in Drosophila

MPS-Authors
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Stensmyr,  Marcus Carl
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Dweck,  Hany
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Farhan,  Abu
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Ibba,  Irene
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Strutz,  Antonia
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Mukunda,  Latha
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Linz,  Jeanine
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Grabe,  Veit
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Steck,  Kathrin
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Lavista Llanos,  Sofia
Research Group Dr. M. Stensmyr, Molecular Biology of Olfaction, Department of Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Wicher,  Dieter
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Sachse,  Silke
BMBF Research Group Dr. S. Sachse, Olfactory Coding, Department of Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Knaden,  Markus
Research Group Dr. M. Knaden, Insect Behavior, Department of Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Seki,  Yoichi
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Hansson,  Bill
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Stensmyr, M. C., Dweck, H., Farhan, A., Ibba, I., Strutz, A., Mukunda, L., et al. (2012). A conserved dedicated olfactory circuit for detecting harmful microbes in Drosophila. Cell, 151(6), 1345-1357. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2012.09.046.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0010-5018-3
Abstract
Flies, like all animals, need to find suitable and safe food. Because the principal food source for Drosophila melanogaster is yeast growing on fermenting fruit, flies need to distinguish fruit with safe yeast from yeast covered with toxic microbes. We identify a functionally segregated olfactory circuit in flies that is activated exclusively by geosmin. This microbial odorant constitutes an ecologically relevant stimulus that alerts flies to the presence of harmful microbes. Geosmin activates only a single class of sensory neurons expressing the olfactory receptor Or56a. These neurons target the DA2 glomerulus and connect to projection neurons that respond exclusively to geosmin. Activation of DA2 is sufficient and necessary for aversion, overrides input from other olfactory pathways, and inhibits positive chemotaxis, oviposition, and feeding. The geosmin detection system is a conserved feature in the genus Drosophila that provides flies with a sensitive, specific means of identifying unsuitable feeding and breeding sites.