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Cell. 2002 Apr 19;109(2):243-55.

Representation of the glomerular olfactory map in the Drosophila brain.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.


We explored how the odor map in the Drosophila antennal lobe is represented in higher olfactory centers, the mushroom body and lateral horn. Systematic single-cell tracing of projection neurons (PNs) that send dendrites to specific glomeruli in the antennal lobe revealed their stereotypical axon branching patterns and terminal fields in the lateral horn. PNs with similar axon terminal fields tend to receive input from neighboring glomeruli. The glomerular classes of individual PNs could be accurately predicted based solely on their axon projection patterns. The sum of these patterns defines an "axon map" in higher olfactory centers reflecting which olfactory receptors provide input. This map is characterized by spatial convergence and divergence of PN axons, allowing integration of olfactory information.

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