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Genes Brain Behav. 2009 Jun;8(4):407-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2009.00482.x. Epub 2009 Feb 11.

Parametric and genetic analysis of Drosophila appetitive long-term memory and sugar motivation.

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Gènes et Dynamique des Systèmes de Mémoire, CNRS UMR 7637, ESPCI, Paris, France.


Distinct forms of memory can be highlighted using different training protocols. In Drosophila olfactory aversive learning, one conditioning session triggers memory formation independently of protein synthesis, while five spaced conditioning sessions lead to the formation of long-term memory (LTM), a long-lasting memory dependent on de novo protein synthesis. In contrast, one session of odour-sugar association appeared sufficient for the fly to form LTM. We designed and tuned an apparatus that facilitates repeated discriminative conditioning by alternate presentations of two odours, one being associated with sugar, as well as a new paradigm to test sugar responsiveness (SR). Our results show that both SR and short-term memory (STM) scores increase with starvation length before conditioning. The protein dependency of appetitive LTM is independent of the repetition and the spacing of training sessions, on the starvation duration and on the strength of the unconditioned stimulus. In contrast to a recent report, our test measures an abnormal SR of radish mutant flies, which might initiate their STM and LTM phenotypes. In addition, our work shows that crammer and tequila mutants, which are deficient for aversive LTM, present both an SR and an appetitive STM defect. Using the MB247-P[switch] system, we further show that tequila is required in the adult mushroom bodies for normal sugar motivation.

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