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Intracellular regulation of the insect chemoreceptor complex impacts odour localization in flying insects

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Getahun,  Merid Negash
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS on Ecological Interactions, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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Thoma,  Michael
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology, Prof. B. S. Hansson, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;
IMPRS on Ecological Interactions, MPI for Chemical Ecology, Max Planck Society;

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

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

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

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

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Citation

Getahun, M. N., Thoma, M., Lavista Llanos, S., Keesey, I., Fandino, R. A., Knaden, M., et al. (2016). Intracellular regulation of the insect chemoreceptor complex impacts odour localization in flying insects. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219, 3428-3438. doi:10.1242/jeb.143396.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002B-2E66-B
Abstract
Flying insects are well known for airborne odour tracking and have evolved diverse chemoreceptors. While ionotropic receptors (IRs) are found across protostomes, insect odorant receptors (ORs) have only been identified in winged insects. We therefore hypothesized that the unique signal transduction of ORs offers an advantage for odour localization in flight. Using Drosophila, we found expression and increased activity of the intracellular signalling protein PKC in antennal sensilla following odour stimulation. Odour stimulation also enhanced phosphorylation of theORco-receptorOrco in vitro, while site-directed mutation of Orco or mutations in PKC subtypes reduced the sensitivity and dynamic range of OR-expressing neurons in vivo, but not IR-expressing neurons. We ultimately show that these mutations reduce competence for odour localization of flies in flight.We conclude that intracellular regulation of OR sensitivity is necessary for efficient odour localization, which suggests a mechanistic advantage for the evolution of the OR complex in flying insects.