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Spatiotemporally precise optogenetic activation of sensory neurons in freely walking Drosophila

  1. Brian D DeAngelis
  2. Jacob A Zavatone-Veth
  3. Aneysis D Gonzalez-Suarez
  4. Damon A Clark  Is a corresponding author
  1. Yale University, United States
  2. Harvard University, United States
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  • Views 2,064
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e54183 doi: 10.7554/eLife.54183

Abstract

Previous work has characterized how walking Drosophila coordinate the movements of individual limbs (DeAngelis, Zavatone-Veth, and Clark, 2019). To understand the circuit basis of this coordination, one must characterize how sensory feedback from each limb affects walking behavior. However, it has remained difficult to manipulate neural activity in individual limbs of freely moving animals. Here, we demonstrate a simple method for optogenetic stimulation with body side-, body segment-, and limb-specificity that does not require real-time tracking. Instead, we activate at random, precise locations in time and space and use post hoc analysis to determine behavioral responses to specific activations. Using this method, we have characterized limb coordination and walking behavior in response to transient activation of mechanosensitive bristle neurons and sweet-sensing chemoreceptor neurons. Our findings reveal that activating these neurons has opposite effects on turning, and that activations in different limbs and body regions produce distinct behaviors.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Brian D DeAngelis

    Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-9418-7619
  2. Jacob A Zavatone-Veth

    Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-4060-1738
  3. Aneysis D Gonzalez-Suarez

    Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program, Yale University, New Haven, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Damon A Clark

    Department of Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, Yale University, New Haven, United States
    For correspondence
    damon.clark@yale.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8487-700X

Funding

National Institutes of Health (EY026555)

  • Brian D DeAngelis
  • Damon A Clark

National Institutes of Health (EY026878)

  • Brian D DeAngelis
  • Damon A Clark

Chicago Community Trust (Searle Scholar Award)

  • Damon A Clark

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (Fellowship)

  • Damon A Clark

National Science Foundation (GRF)

  • Brian D DeAngelis

Smith Family Foundation (Scholar Award)

  • Brian D DeAngelis
  • Damon A Clark

National Science Foundation (IOS 1558103)

  • Jacob A Zavatone-Veth
  • Damon A Clark

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

Reviewing Editor

  1. Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: December 12, 2019
  2. Accepted: April 21, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 22, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: May 4, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, DeAngelis 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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