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      A closed-loop optogenetic screen for neurons controlling feeding in Drosophila


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          Feeding is an essential part of animal life that is greatly impacted by the sense of taste. Although the characterization of taste-detection at the periphery has been extensive, higher order taste and feeding circuits are still being elucidated. Here, we use an automated closed-loop optogenetic activation screen to detect novel taste and feeding neurons in Drosophila melanogaster. Out of 122 Janelia FlyLight Project GAL4 lines preselected based on expression pattern, we identify six lines that acutely promote feeding and 35 lines that inhibit it. As proof of principle, we follow up on R70C07-GAL4, which labels neurons that strongly inhibit feeding. Using split-GAL4 lines to isolate subsets of the R70C07-GAL4 population, we find both appetitive and aversive neurons. Furthermore, we show that R70C07-GAL4 labels putative second-order taste interneurons that contact both sweet and bitter sensory neurons. These results serve as a resource for further functional dissection of fly feeding circuits.

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          A GAL4-driver line resource for Drosophila neurobiology.

          We established a collection of 7,000 transgenic lines of Drosophila melanogaster. Expression of GAL4 in each line is controlled by a different, defined fragment of genomic DNA that serves as a transcriptional enhancer. We used confocal microscopy of dissected nervous systems to determine the expression patterns driven by each fragment in the adult brain and ventral nerve cord. We present image data on 6,650 lines. Using both manual and machine-assisted annotation, we describe the expression patterns in the most useful lines. We illustrate the utility of these data for identifying novel neuronal cell types, revealing brain asymmetry, and describing the nature and extent of neuronal shape stereotypy. The GAL4 lines allow expression of exogenous genes in distinct, small subsets of the adult nervous system. The set of DNA fragments, each driving a documented expression pattern, will facilitate the generation of additional constructs for manipulating neuronal function. Copyright © 2012 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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            Motor control in a Drosophila taste circuit.

            Tastes elicit innate behaviors critical for directing animals to ingest nutritious substances and reject toxic compounds, but the neural basis of these behaviors is not understood. Here, we use a neural silencing screen to identify neurons required for a simple Drosophila taste behavior and characterize a neural population that controls a specific subprogram of this behavior. By silencing and activating subsets of the defined cell population, we identify the neurons involved in the taste behavior as a pair of motor neurons located in the subesophageal ganglion (SOG). The motor neurons are activated by sugar stimulation of gustatory neurons and inhibited by bitter compounds; however, experiments utilizing split-GFP detect no direct connections between the motor neurons and primary sensory neurons, indicating that further study will be necessary to elucidate the circuitry bridging these populations. Combined, these results provide a general strategy and a valuable starting point for future taste circuit analysis.
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              Two Gr genes underlie sugar reception in Drosophila.

              We have analyzed the molecular basis of sugar reception in Drosophila. We define the response spectrum, concentration dependence, and temporal dynamics of sugar-sensing neurons. Using in situ hybridization and reporter gene expression, we identify members of the Gr5a-related taste receptor subfamily that are coexpressed in sugar neurons. Neurons expressing reporters of different Gr5a-related genes send overlapping but distinct projections to the brain and thoracic ganglia. Genetic analysis of receptor genes shows that Gr5a is required for response to one subset of sugars and Gr64a for response to a complementary subset. A Gr5a;Gr64a double mutant shows no physiological or behavioral responses to any tested sugar. The simplest interpretation of our results is that Gr5a and Gr64a are each capable of functioning independently of each other within individual sugar neurons and that they are the primary receptors used in the labellum to detect sugars.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                G3 (Bethesda)
                G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics
                Oxford University Press
                May 2021
                14 March 2021
                14 March 2021
                : 11
                : 5
                : jkab073
                Department of Zoology and Life Sciences Institute, University of British Columbia , Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: gordon@ 123456zoology.ubc.ca
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Genetics Society of America.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 20 August 2020
                : 03 March 2021
                Page count
                Pages: 9
                Funded by: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) operating;
                Award ID: FDN-148424
                Funded by: Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI);
                Award ID: 27290
                Funded by: Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar;

                optogenetics,neural activation screen,taste,feeding,drosophila
                optogenetics, neural activation screen, taste, feeding, drosophila


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