Optogenetic inhibition of behavior with anion channelrhodopsins

Nat Methods. 2017 Mar;14(3):271-274. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.4148. Epub 2017 Jan 23.


Optogenetics uses light exposure to manipulate physiology in genetically modified organisms. Abundant tools for optogenetic excitation are available, but the limitations of current optogenetic inhibitors present an obstacle to demonstrating the necessity of neuronal circuits. Here we show that anion channelrhodopsins can be used to specifically and rapidly inhibit neural systems involved in Drosophila locomotion, wing expansion, memory retrieval and gustation, thus demonstrating their broad utility in the circuit analysis of behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Light
  • Locomotion / physiology
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Optogenetics / methods*
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified
  • Rhodopsin / pharmacology*
  • Taste Perception / physiology
  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels / physiology


  • Voltage-Dependent Anion Channels
  • Rhodopsin