Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Restricted Thesis

Terms of Use

© 2006 Makiko Mizutani. All rights reserved. Access to this work is restricted to users within the Swarthmore College network and may only be used for non-commercial, educational, and research purposes. Sharing with users outside of the Swarthmore College network is expressly prohibited. For all other uses, including reproduction and distribution, please contact the copyright holder.

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Kathleen King Siwicki

Abstract

Although Drosophila melanogaster male courtship behavior involves multimodal sensory input, non-volatile cuticular hydrocarbons (CHs) on courtship target are thought to be crucial in both innate courtship behavior (Ferveur and Greenspan, 2000; Jallon and David, 1987) and courtship conditioning (Siwicki et at., 2005). CHs are detected by a fly's peripheral gustatory system that consists of gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) that express gustatory receptor proteins (Grs)(Amrein and Thorne, 2005; Stocker, 1994). Recently, the first putative pheromone receptor, Gr68a, has been identified (Bray and Amrein, 2003). In addition, high sequence similarity to Gr68a has implicated Gr32a, Gr39a.A, and Gr39a.D as potential pheromone receptors. In this study, roles of the GRN populations defined by expression of these Grs in innate courtship behavior and courtship conditioning were examined by 1)increasing the neuronal excitability by expression of eag^(Δ⁹³²), a dysfunctional potassium SJ channel subunit protein or by 2) inhibiting neurotransmitter release by expression of shi^(TS1) in the specific GRN populations. The results support the previous evidence that Gr68a transduces some aphrodisiac pheromone. Furthermore, the results suggest GRN populations defined by expression of Gr68a and Gr39a.A may detect a pheromone necessary for courtship conditioning. The results also suggest that Gr32a-expressing GRNs are capable of providing inhibitory input in courtship modulation.

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