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J Comp Neurol. 2012 Dec 15;520(18):4131-40. doi: 10.1002/cne.23149.

Dye fills reveal additional olfactory tracts in the protocerebrum of wild-type Drosophila.

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  • 1National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The antennal lobe (AL) is the primary olfactory center in insect brains. It receives sensory input from the olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) and sends, through its projection neurons (PNs), reformatted output to secondary olfactory centers, including the mushroom body (MB) calyx and the lateral horn (LH) in the protocerebrum. By injecting dye into the AL of wild-type Drosophila, we identified previously unknown direct pathways between the AL and the ventrolateral, superior medial, and posterior lateral protocerebra. We found that most of these areas in the protocerebrum are connected with the AL through multiple tracts, suggesting that these areas are sites of convergence for olfactory information. Furthermore, areas such as the superior medial protocerebrum now appear to receive olfactory output both directly from the AL and indirectly from lobes of the MB and the LH, suggesting a degree of functional interaction among these areas. We also analyzed the length and number of fibers in each tract. We compare our results obtained from wild-type flies with recent results from transgenic strains and discuss how information about odorants is distributed to multiple protocerebral areas.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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