Comparative chemosensation from receptors to ecology

Nature. 2006 Nov 16;444(7117):295-301. doi: 10.1038/nature05402.


Odour perception is initiated by specific interactions between odorants and a large repertoire of receptors in olfactory neurons. During the past few years, considerable progress has been made in tracing olfactory perception from the odorant receptor protein to the activity of olfactory neurons to higher processing centres and, ultimately, to behaviour. The most complete picture is emerging for the simplest olfactory system studied--that of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of rodent, insect and nematode olfaction reveals surprising differences and unexpected similarities among chemosensory systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Ecology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Smell / drug effects
  • Smell / physiology*


  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled