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We recently identified from the Drosophila genome database a large family of G protein-coupled receptor genes, the Gr genes, and predicted that they encode taste receptors on the basis of their structure and specificity of expression. The expression of Gr genes in gustatory neurons has subsequently been confirmed and 56 family members have been reported.(More)
We have analyzed the molecular basis of sugar reception in Drosophila. We define the response spectrum, concentration dependence, and temporal dynamics of sugar-sensing neurons. Using in situ hybridization and reporter gene expression, we identify members of the Gr5a-related taste receptor subfamily that are coexpressed in sugar neurons. Neurons expressing(More)
The extent of diversity among bitter-sensing neurons is a fundamental issue in the field of taste. Data are limited and conflicting as to whether bitter neurons are broadly tuned and uniform, resulting in indiscriminate avoidance of bitter stimuli, or diverse, allowing a more discerning evaluation of food sources. We provide a systematic analysis of how(More)
We examine the molecular and cellular basis of taste perception in the Drosophila larva through a comprehensive analysis of the expression patterns of all 68 Gustatory receptors (Grs). Gr-GAL4 lines representing each Gr are examined, and 39 show expression in taste organs of the larval head, including the terminal organ (TO), the dorsal organ (DO), and the(More)
There are major impediments to finding improved DEET alternatives because the receptors causing olfactory repellency are unknown, and new chemicals require exorbitant costs to determine safety for human use. Here we identify DEET-sensitive neurons in a pit-like structure in the Drosophila melanogaster antenna called the sacculus. They express a highly(More)
Recent studies have suggested that Drosophila taste receptors are encoded by a family of G protein-coupled receptor genes comprising at least 56 members. One of these genes, Gr5a, has been shown by genetic analysis to be required by the fly for behavioral and sensory responses to a sugar, trehalose. Here, we show that Gr5a is expressed in neurons of taste(More)
During Drosophila embryogenesis, a gradient of Nanos protein emanating from the posterior pole organizes abdominal segmentation. This gradient arises from translational regulation of nanos mRNA, which is activated in the specialized cytoplasm at the posterior pole of the embryo and repressed elsewhere. Previously, we have defined cis-acting elements in the(More)
The fly pharyngeal sense organs lie at the transition between external and internal nutrient-sensing mechanisms. Here we investigate the function of pharyngeal sweet gustatory receptor neurons, demonstrating that they express a subset of the nine previously identified sweet receptors and respond to stimulation with a panel of sweet compounds. We show that(More)
Insect chemoreception is mediated by a large and diverse superfamily of seven-transmembrane domain receptors. These receptors were first identified in Drosophila, but have since been found in other insects, including mosquitoes and moths. Expression and functional analysis of these receptors have been used to identify receptor ligands and to map receptors(More)
To understand the principles of taste coding, it is necessary to understand the functional organization of the taste organs. Although the labellum of the Drosophila melanogaster head has been described in detail, the tarsal segments of the legs, which collectively contain more taste sensilla than the labellum, have received much less attention. We performed(More)