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Science. 2005 Jul 29;309(5735):787-90.

An interneuronal chemoreceptor required for olfactory imprinting in C. elegans.

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Laboratoire NMDA CNRS UMR 6156, Institut de Biologie du Développement (IBDM), 13288 Marseille Cedex 9, France.


Animals alter their behavioral patterns in an experience-dependent manner. Olfactory imprinting is a process in which the exposure of animals to olfactory cues during specific and restricted time windows leaves a permanent memory ("olfactory imprint") that shapes the animal's behavior upon encountering the olfactory cues at later times. We found that Caenorhabditis elegans displays olfactory imprinting behavior that is mediated by a single pair of interneurons. To function in olfactory imprinting, this interneuron pair must express a G protein-coupled chemoreceptor family member encoded by the sra-11 gene. Our study provides insights into the cellular and molecular basis of olfactory imprinting and reveals a function for a chemosensory receptor family member in interneurons.

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