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Nature. 1992 Oct 29;359(6398):829-32.

Connectivity of chemosensory neurons is controlled by the gene poxn in Drosophila.

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Laboratories de Neurobiologie et de Génétique, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Rhode-St-Genèse, Belgium.


The function of the nervous system depends on the formation of a net of appropriate connections, but little is known of the genetic program underlying this process. In Drosophila two genes that specify different types of sense organs have been identified: cut (ct), which specifies the formation of external sense organs as opposed to chordotonal organs, and pox-neuro (poxn), which specifies the formation of poly-innervated (chemosensory) organs as opposed to mono-innervated (mechanosensory) organs. Whether these genes are also involved in specifying the connectivity of the corresponding neurons is not known. The larval sense organs are unsuitable for analysis of the axonal pathway and connections and so we have investigated the effect of poxn on the adult. Here we show that overexpression of poxn induces the morphological transformation of mechanosensory into chemosensory bristles on the legs and that the neurons innervating the morphologically transformed bristles follow pathways and establish connections that are appropriate for chemosensory bristles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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