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Nature. 2006 Nov 16;444(7117):295-301.

Comparative chemosensation from receptors to ecology.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Avenue, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Odour perception is initiated by specific interactions between odorants and a large repertoire of receptors in olfactory neurons. During the past few years, considerable progress has been made in tracing olfactory perception from the odorant receptor protein to the activity of olfactory neurons to higher processing centres and, ultimately, to behaviour. The most complete picture is emerging for the simplest olfactory system studied--that of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. Comparison of rodent, insect and nematode olfaction reveals surprising differences and unexpected similarities among chemosensory systems.

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