Integrating the molecular and cellular basis of odor coding in the Drosophila antenna

Neuron. 2003 Mar 6;37(5):827-41. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(03)00094-1.


We investigate how the molecular and cellular maps of the Drosophila olfactory system are integrated. A correspondence is established between individual odor receptors, neurons, and odors. We describe the expression of the Or22a and Or22b receptor genes, show localization to dendritic membranes, and find sexual dimorphism. Or22a maps to the ab3A neuron, which responds to ethyl butyrate. Analysis of a deletion mutant lacking Or22a, along with transgenic rescue experiments, confirms the mapping and demonstrates that an Or gene is required for olfactory function in vivo. Ectopic expression of Or47a in a mutant cell identifies the neuron from which it derives and its odor ligands. Ectopic expression in a wild-type cell shows that two receptors can function in a single cell. The ab3A neuron does not depend on normal odor receptor gene expression to navigate to its target in the CNS.

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
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins / deficiency
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptors, Odorant / deficiency
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / physiology*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Smell / genetics
  • Smell / physiology*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Receptors, Odorant