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Organization of the Drosophila larval visual circuit

  1. Ivan Larderet
  2. Pauline MJ Fritsch
  3. Nanae Gendre
  4. G Larisa Neagu-Maier
  5. Richard D Fetter
  6. Casey M Schneider-Mizell
  7. James W Truman
  8. Marta Zlatic
  9. Albert Cardona
  10. Simon G Sprecher  Is a corresponding author
  1. University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  2. Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, United States
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2017;6:e28387 doi: 10.7554/eLife.28387

Abstract

Visual systems transduce, process and transmit light-dependent environmental cues. Computation of visual features depends on photoreceptor neuron types (PR) present, organization of the eye and wiring of the underlying neural circuit. Here, we describe the circuit architecture of the visual system of Drosophila larvae by mapping the synaptic wiring diagram and neurotransmitters. By contacting different targets, the two larval PR-subtypes create two converging pathways potentially underlying the computation of ambient light intensity and temporal light changes already within this first visual processing center. Locally processed visual information then signals via dedicated projection interneurons to higher brain areas including the lateral horn and mushroom body. The stratified structure of the larval optic neuropil (LON) suggests common organizational principles with the adult fly and vertebrate visual systems. The complete synaptic wiring diagram of the LON paves the way to understanding how circuits with reduced numerical complexity control wide ranges of behaviors.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Ivan Larderet

    Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Pauline MJ Fritsch

    Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Nanae Gendre

    Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. G Larisa Neagu-Maier

    Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Richard D Fetter

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Casey M Schneider-Mizell

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9477-3853
  7. James W Truman

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Marta Zlatic

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  9. Albert Cardona

    Janelia Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0003-4941-6536
  10. Simon G Sprecher

    Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
    For correspondence
    simon.sprecher@gmail.com
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9060-3750

Funding

Bundesbehörden der Schweizerischen Eidgenossenschaft (31003A_169993)

  • Simon G Sprecher

Seventh Framework Programme (ERC-2012-StG 309832-PhotoNaviNet)

  • Simon G Sprecher

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

  • James W Truman
  • Marta Zlatic
  • Albert Cardona

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Mani Ramaswami, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Publication history

  1. Received: May 5, 2017
  2. Accepted: August 7, 2017
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: August 8, 2017 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: August 18, 2017 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2017, Larderet 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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