A map of olfactory representation in the Drosophila mushroom body

Cell. 2007 Mar 23;128(6):1205-17. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.03.006.


Neural coding for olfactory sensory stimuli has been mapped near completion in the Drosophila first-order center, but little is known in the higher brain centers. Here, we report that the antenna lobe (AL) spatial map is transformed further in the calyx of the mushroom body (MB), an essential olfactory associated learning center, by stereotypic connections with projection neurons (PNs). We found that Kenyon cell (KC) dendrites are segregated into 17 complementary domains according to their neuroblast clonal origins and birth orders. Aligning the PN axonal map with the KC dendritic map and ultrastructural observation suggest a positional ordering such that inputs from the different AL glomeruli have distinct representations in the MB calyx, and these representations might synapse on functionally distinct KCs. Our data suggest that olfactory coding at the AL is decoded in the MB and then transferred via distinct lobes to separate higher brain centers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dendrites / physiology
  • Drosophila / anatomy & histology*
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mushroom Bodies / anatomy & histology
  • Mushroom Bodies / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Olfactory Pathways / physiology
  • Pheromones
  • Smell / physiology


  • Pheromones