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Taste receptors play a crucial role in detecting the presence of bitter compounds such as alkaloids, and help to prevent the ingestion of toxic food. In Drosophila, we show for the first time that several taste sensilla on the prothoracic legs detect bitter compounds both through the activation of specific taste neurons but also through inhibition of taste(More)
Recent findings have indicated that the Gr genes for putative gustatory receptors of Drosophila melanogaster are expressed in a spatially restricted pattern among chemosensilla on the labellum. However, evidence for a functional segregation among the chemosensilla is lacking. In this work, labellar chemosensilla were classified and numbered into three(More)
In Drosophila, gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) occur within hair-like structures called sensilla. Most taste sensilla house four GRNs, which have been named according to their preferred sensitivity to basic stimuli: water (W cell), sugars (S cell), salt at low concentration (L1 cell), and salt at high concentration (L2 cell). Labellar taste sensilla are(More)
When monitoring neurons with a single extracellular electrode, it is common to record action potentials from different neurons. A recurring problem with such recordings is to identify which neuron is active. Sorting spikes into separate classes is possible if each neuron discharge spikes differing by their shapes and sizes. However, this approach is not(More)
Sexual behavior requires animals to distinguish between the sexes and to respond appropriately to each of them. In Drosophila melanogaster, as in many insects, cuticular hydrocarbons are thought to be involved in sex recognition and in mating behavior, but there is no direct neuronal evidence of their pheromonal effect. Using behavioral and(More)
Discrimination of edible and noxious food is crucial for survival in all organisms. We have studied the physiology of the gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) in contact chemosensilla (insect gustatory organs) located on the antennae of the moth Heliothis virescens, emphasizing putative phagostimulants and deterrents. Sucrose and the 2 bitter substances(More)
Drosophila melanogaster adapt their food consumption to their internal needs and avoid ingesting noxious molecules. Defects in the genes involved in these decisions induce behavioral alterations that are usually screened by monitoring flies feeding in 2-choice or in no-choice situations. Here, we introduce a new behavioral test in which groups of flies are(More)
Avoiding toxins in food is as important as obtaining nutrition. Conditioned food aversions have been studied in animals as diverse as nematodes and humans [1, 2], but the neural signaling mechanisms underlying this form of learning have been difficult to pinpoint. Honeybees quickly learn to associate floral cues with food [3], a trait that makes them an(More)
We investigated the ability of pheromone-sensitive olfactory receptors of male Manduca sexta to respond to 20-ms pulses of bombykal, the major component of the conspecific pheromonal blend. Isolated pulses of bombykal elicited a burst of activity which decreased exponentially with a time constant of 160-250 ms. Trains of pulses delivered at increasing(More)
The modulatory effects of the biogenic amines octopamine and serotonin on pheromonal receptor neurons of Mamestra brassicae were investigated. The responses to sex pheromone components of two cells types (A and B) in single male long sensilla trichodea were monitored. Cell types A and B do not respond to the same compound. The response of type A to a pulse(More)