1. Developmental Biology
  2. Neuroscience
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Genetic transformation of structural and functional circuitry rewires the Drosophila brain

  1. Sonia Sen
  2. Deshou Cao
  3. Ramveer Choudhary
  4. Silvia Biagini
  5. Jing W Wang
  6. Heinrich Reichert
  7. K VijayRaghavan  Is a corresponding author
  1. National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, India
  2. University of California, San Diego, United States
  3. Institute for Molecular Oncology, Italy
  4. University of Basel, Switzerland
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Cite this article as: eLife 2014;3:e04407 doi: 10.7554/eLife.04407

Abstract

Acquisition of distinct neuronal identities during development is critical for the assembly of diverse functional neural circuits in the brain. In both vertebrates and invertebrates, intrinsic determinants are thought to act in neural progenitors to specify their identity and the identity of their neuronal progeny. However, the extent to which individual factors can contribute to this is poorly understood. We investigate the role of orthodenticle in the specification of an identified neuroblast (neuronal progenitor) lineage in the Drosophila brain. Loss of orthodenticle from this neuroblast affects molecular properties, neuroanatomical features and functional inputs of progeny neurons, such that an entire central complex lineage transforms into a functional olfactory projection neuron lineage. This ability to change functional macrocircuitry of the brain through changes in gene expression in a single neuroblast reveals a surprising capacity for novel circuit formation in the brain and provides a paradigm for large-scale evolutionary modification of circuitry.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Sonia Sen

    Department of Developmental Biology and Genetics, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, Bangalore, India
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  2. Deshou Cao

    Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  3. Ramveer Choudhary

    Institute for Molecular Oncology, Milan, Italy
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  4. Silvia Biagini

    Institute for Molecular Oncology, Milan, Italy
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  5. Jing W Wang

    Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, United States
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  6. Heinrich Reichert

    Department of Biozentrum, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    No competing interests declared.
  7. K VijayRaghavan

    Department of Developmental Biology and Genetics, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, Bangalore, India
    For correspondence
    vijay@ncbs.res.in
    Competing interests
    K VijayRaghavan, Senior editor, eLife.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Graeme W Davis, University of California, San Francisco, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: August 18, 2014
  2. Accepted: December 23, 2014
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 29, 2014 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: January 28, 2015 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2014, Sen et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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