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Elife. 2016 Sep 22;5. pii: e17879. doi: 10.7554/eLife.17879.

Distinct combinations of variant ionotropic glutamate receptors mediate thermosensation and hygrosensation in Drosophila.

Author information

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

Abstract

Ionotropic Receptors (IRs) are a large subfamily of variant ionotropic glutamate receptors present across Protostomia. While these receptors are most extensively studied for their roles in chemosensory detection, recent work has implicated two family members, IR21a and IR25a, in thermosensation in Drosophila. Here we characterize one of the most evolutionarily deeply conserved receptors, IR93a, and show that it is co-expressed and functions with IR21a and IR25a to mediate physiological and behavioral responses to cool temperatures. IR93a is also co-expressed with IR25a and a distinct receptor, IR40a, in a discrete population of sensory neurons in the sacculus, a multi-chambered pocket within the antenna. We demonstrate that this combination of receptors is required for neuronal responses to dry air and behavioral discrimination of humidity differences. Our results identify IR93a as a common component of molecularly and cellularly distinct IR pathways important for thermosensation and hygrosensation in insects.

KEYWORDS:

D. melanogaster; Ir21a; Ir25a; Ir40a; Ir93a; dry sensation; ionotropic receptor; neuroscience

PMID:
27656904
PMCID:
PMC5052030
DOI:
10.7554/eLife.17879
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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