Projection patterns of different types of antennal sensilla in the antennal glomeruli of Drosophila melanogaster

Cell Tissue Res. 1983;232(2):237-48. doi: 10.1007/BF00213783.


Cobalt fills from small, defined regions of the antenna in D. melanogaster show that the three types of sensilla on the third segment, the flagellum, and a fourth sensillum located in the arista, project into the glomeruli of the antennal lobe. We have identified 19 glomeruli in each lobe, according to their location, shape, and size. At least ten of these represent major projection areas of flagellar or aristal sensilla. The large majority of glomeruli is innervated from both antennae, but a small group of five receive exclusively ipsilateral input. A particular sensory fiber appears to terminate only in one specific glomerulus, either in the ipsilateral or in both lobes. Fills from flagellar regions bearing a single type of sensillum, yield a specific pattern of glomeruli containing stained terminals. Aristal projections remain strictly ipsilateral, whereas those from the other sensilla consist of an ipsilateral and a bilateral component. When filling from different points in an area bearing one type of sensillum, similar projections are produced, suggesting that projection patterns observed reflect predominantly the type of sensillum rather than its location on the flagellum. Accordingly, individual glomeruli might represent functional units, each receiving antennal input in a characteristic combination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cobalt / metabolism
  • Diffusion
  • Drosophila melanogaster / anatomy & histology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Female
  • Olfactory Pathways / anatomy & histology
  • Sense Organs / anatomy & histology*


  • Cobalt