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Elife. 2016 Apr 29;5. pii: e13254. doi: 10.7554/eLife.13254.

The Ionotropic Receptors IR21a and IR25a mediate cool sensing in Drosophila.

Ni L1,2,3, Klein M4,5,6, Svec KV1,2,3, Budelli G1,2,3, Chang EC1,2,3, Ferrer AJ5, Benton R7, Samuel AD4,6, Garrity PA1,2,3.

Author information

1
National Center for Behavioral Genomics, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States.
2
Volen Center for Complex Systems, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States.
3
Department of Biology, Brandeis University, Waltham, United States.
4
Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States.
5
Department of Physics, University of Miami, Coral Gables, United States.
6
Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, United States.
7
Center for Integrative Genomics, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Abstract

Animals rely on highly sensitive thermoreceptors to seek out optimal temperatures, but the molecular mechanisms of thermosensing are not well understood. The Dorsal Organ Cool Cells (DOCCs) of the Drosophila larva are a set of exceptionally thermosensitive neurons critical for larval cool avoidance. Here, we show that DOCC cool-sensing is mediated by Ionotropic Receptors (IRs), a family of sensory receptors widely studied in invertebrate chemical sensing. We find that two IRs, IR21a and IR25a, are required to mediate DOCC responses to cooling and are required for cool avoidance behavior. Furthermore, we find that ectopic expression of IR21a can confer cool-responsiveness in an Ir25a-dependent manner, suggesting an instructive role for IR21a in thermosensing. Together, these data show that IR family receptors can function together to mediate thermosensation of exquisite sensitivity.

KEYWORDS:

D. melanogaster; animal behavior; neural circuits; neuroscience; thermoreceptor; thermosensation; thermosensor; thermotaxis

PMID:
27126188
PMCID:
PMC4851551
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.13254
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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