An olfactory sensory map in the fly brain

Cell. 2000 Jul 21;102(2):147-59. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)00021-0.


We have isolated the "complete" repertoire of genes encoding the odorant receptors in Drosophila and employ these genes to provide a molecular description of the organization of the peripheral olfactory system. The repertoire of Drosophila odorant receptors is encoded by 57 genes. Individual sensory neurons are likely to express only a single receptor gene. Neurons expressing a given gene project axons to one or two spatially invariant glomeruli in the antennal lobe. The insect brain therefore retains a two-dimensional map of receptor activation such that the quality of an odor may be encoded by different spatial patterns of activity in the antennal lobe.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Axons / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Insect Proteins / genetics*
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / metabolism
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / physiology*
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Insect Proteins
  • Receptors, Odorant