Genetic and functional subdivision of the Drosophila antennal lobe

Curr Biol. 2005 Sep 6;15(17):1548-53. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2005.07.066.


Olfactory systems confer the recognition and discrimination of a large number of structurally distinct odor molecules. Recent molecular analysis of odorant receptor (OR) genes and circuits has led to a model of odor coding in which a population of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) expressing a single OR converges upon a unique olfactory glomerulus. Activation of the OR can thus be read out by the activation of its cognate glomerulus. Drosophila is a powerful system in which to test this model because the entire repertoire of 62 ORs can be manipulated genetically. However, a complete understanding of how fly olfactory circuits are organized is lacking. Here, we present a nearly complete map of OR projections from OSNs to the antennal lobe (AL) in the fly brain. Four populations of OSNs coexpress two ORs along with Or83b, and a fifth expresses one OR and one gustatory receptor (GR) along with Or83b. One glomerulus receives coconvergent input from two separate populations of OSNs. Three ORs label sexually dimorphic glomeruli implicated in sexual courtship and are thus candidate Drosophila pheromone receptors. This olfactory sensory map provides an experimental framework for relating ORs to glomeruli and ultimately behavior.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism
  • Drosophila*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Models, Neurological*
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology*
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / cytology
  • Olfactory Receptor Neurons / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Odorant / genetics
  • Receptors, Odorant / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Odorant
  • gustatory receptor, Drosophila