Olfactory physiology in the Drosophila antenna and maxillary palp: acj6 distinguishes two classes of odorant pathways

J Neurobiol. 1992 Oct;23(8):965-82. doi: 10.1002/neu.480230804.


This article provides characterization of the electrical response to odorants in the Drosophila antenna and provides physiological evidence that a second organ, the maxillary palp, also has olfactory function in Drosophila. The acj6 mutation, previously isolated by virtue of defective olfactory behavior, affects olfactory physiology in the maxillary palp as well as in the antenna. Interestingly, abnormal chemosensory jump 6 (acj6) reduces response in the maxillary palp to all odorants tested except benzaldehyde (odor of almond), as if response to benzaldehyde is mediated through a different type of odorant pathway from the other odorants. In other experiments, different parts of the antenna are shown to differ with respect to odorant sensitivity. Evidence is also provided that antennal response to odorants varies with age, and that odorants differ in their age dependence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Electrodes
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Mutation
  • Odorants
  • Olfactory Pathways / growth & development
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Sense Organs / anatomy & histology
  • Sense Organs / physiology*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Smell / physiology*