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Current source density mapping of antennal sensory selectivity reveals conserved olfactory systems between tephritids and Drosophila

Jacob V., Scolari F., Delatte H., Gasperi G., Jacquin-Joly E., Malacrida A.R., Duyck P.F.. 2017. Scientific Reports, 7 : 13 p..

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-15431-4

Ecological specialization of insects involves the functional and morphological reshaping of olfactory systems. Little is known about the degree to which insect sensitivity to odorant compounds is conserved between genera, tribes, or families. Here we compared the olfactory systems of six tephritid fruit fly species spanning two tribes and the distantly related Drosophila melanogaster at molecular, functional, and morphological levels. Olfaction in these flies is mediated by a set of olfactory receptors (ORs) expressed in different functional classes of neurons located in distinct antennal regions. We performed a phylogenetic analysis that revealed both family-specific OR genes and putative orthologous OR genes between tephritids and Drosophila. With respect to function, we then used a current source density (CSD) analysis to map activity across antennae. Functional maps mirrored the intrinsic structure of antennae observed with scanning electron microscopy. Together, the results revealed partial conservation of the olfactory systems between tephritids and Drosophila. We also demonstrate that the mapping of olfactory responses is necessary to decipher antennal sensory selectivity to olfactory compounds. CSD analysis can be easily applied to map antennae of other species and therefore enables the rapid deriving of olfactory maps and the reconstructing of the target organisms' history of evolution.

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