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Cell. 2000 Jul 21;102(2):147-59.

An olfactory sensory map in the fly brain.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York 10032, USA.


We have isolated the "complete" repertoire of genes encoding the odorant receptors in Drosophila and employ these genes to provide a molecular description of the organization of the peripheral olfactory system. The repertoire of Drosophila odorant receptors is encoded by 57 genes. Individual sensory neurons are likely to express only a single receptor gene. Neurons expressing a given gene project axons to one or two spatially invariant glomeruli in the antennal lobe. The insect brain therefore retains a two-dimensional map of receptor activation such that the quality of an odor may be encoded by different spatial patterns of activity in the antennal lobe.

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