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The neuropeptide tachykinin is essential for pheromone detection in a gustatory neural circuit

  1. Shruti Shankar
  2. Jia Yi Chua
  3. Kah Junn Tan
  4. Meredith EK Calvert
  5. Ruifen Weng
  6. Wan Chin Ng
  7. Kenji Mori
  8. Joanne Y Yew  Is a corresponding author
  1. Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore
  2. Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore
  3. Toyo Gosei Co., Ltd, Japan
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e06914 doi: 10.7554/eLife.06914

Abstract

Gustatory pheromones play an essential role in shaping the behavior of many organisms. However, little is known about the processing of taste pheromones in higher order brain centers. Here, we describe a male-specific gustatory circuit in Drosophila that underlies the detection of the anti-aphrodisiac pheromone (3R,11Z,19Z)-3-acetoxy-11,19-octacosadien-1-ol (CH503). Using behavioral analysis, genetic manipulation, and live calcium imaging, we show that Gr68a-expressing neurons on the forelegs of male flies exhibit a sexually-dimorphic physiological response to the pheromone and relay information to the central brain via peptidergic neurons. The release of tachykinin from 8-10 cells within the subesophageal zone is required for the pheromone-triggered courtship suppression. Taken together, this work describes a neuropeptide-modulated central brain circuit that underlies the programmed behavioral response to a gustatory sex pheromone. These results will allow further examination of the molecular basis by which innate behaviors are modulated by gustatory cues and physiological state.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Shruti Shankar

    Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore, Singapore
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Jia Yi Chua

    Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore, Singapore
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Kah Junn Tan

    Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore, Singapore
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Meredith EK Calvert

    Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore, Singapore
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Ruifen Weng

    Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore, Singapore
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Wan Chin Ng

    Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore, Singapore
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Kenji Mori

    Photosensitive Materials Research Center, Toyo Gosei Co., Ltd, Chiba, Japan
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Joanne Y Yew

    Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, Singapore, Singapore
    For correspondence
    jyew@hawaii.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Leslie C Griffith, Brandeis University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: February 8, 2015
  2. Accepted: June 16, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: June 17, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: July 6, 2015 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2015, Shankar 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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