Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

In many species, chemical signals from the environment trigger a variety of possible behavioral responses by an organism including feeding, aggression, and courtship. How neurons located at the periphery receive these signals and mediate the strength of this information before sending it forward to the brain remains unclear. The neuromodulator octopamine (OA, the insect equivalent of norepinephrine) has been shown by experiments from our lab and others to be required to promote male aggression. After OA is released into the extracellular space, it must bind to its receptors to elicit a response. In order to discover how signals from the environment are interpreted to regulate the behaviors of male aggression and courtship, I am making the focus of my project to examine which types of sensory neurons express the Drosophila octopamine receptor, OAβ1R.

We are using the UAS/Gal4 system, which comprises of Gal4, a transcriptional activator that binds to UAS, which is an enhancer, in order to increase transcription. We will identify neurons in the periphery that respond to water and sugar. I am removing the legs and mouth parts of males that express a fluorescent marker separately in these different neuron categories as well as expressing a fluorescent reporter for the OAβ1R receptor. I am looking for co-localization between the two markers through examination under a fluorescent microscope and have demonstrated co-localization with pickpocket28, which is a gene coding for an ion channel protein that detects water, as well as gustatory receptor 64, which is a sugar sensing neuron. These results indicate that OAβ1R neurons may be involved in detecting as well as regulating the intake of both water and sugar. Results from my collaborative project will provide necessary information regarding how environmental signals are regulated by octopamine to initiate or modify behavior in any system.

Category

Life Sciences

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Apr 15th, 11:00 AM Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

The OAβ1R receptor is required in peripheral neurons to interpret environmental information

In many species, chemical signals from the environment trigger a variety of possible behavioral responses by an organism including feeding, aggression, and courtship. How neurons located at the periphery receive these signals and mediate the strength of this information before sending it forward to the brain remains unclear. The neuromodulator octopamine (OA, the insect equivalent of norepinephrine) has been shown by experiments from our lab and others to be required to promote male aggression. After OA is released into the extracellular space, it must bind to its receptors to elicit a response. In order to discover how signals from the environment are interpreted to regulate the behaviors of male aggression and courtship, I am making the focus of my project to examine which types of sensory neurons express the Drosophila octopamine receptor, OAβ1R.

We are using the UAS/Gal4 system, which comprises of Gal4, a transcriptional activator that binds to UAS, which is an enhancer, in order to increase transcription. We will identify neurons in the periphery that respond to water and sugar. I am removing the legs and mouth parts of males that express a fluorescent marker separately in these different neuron categories as well as expressing a fluorescent reporter for the OAβ1R receptor. I am looking for co-localization between the two markers through examination under a fluorescent microscope and have demonstrated co-localization with pickpocket28, which is a gene coding for an ion channel protein that detects water, as well as gustatory receptor 64, which is a sugar sensing neuron. These results indicate that OAβ1R neurons may be involved in detecting as well as regulating the intake of both water and sugar. Results from my collaborative project will provide necessary information regarding how environmental signals are regulated by octopamine to initiate or modify behavior in any system.