Developmental origin of neural circuits in Drosophila


February 6, 2018 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Northwest Building, Room B103
About the Speaker
Christopher Doe
Speaker Title: 
Speaker Affiliation: 
University of Oregon

Developmental origin of neural circuits in Drosophila
Interneurons are the most common cell type in the Drosophila and mammalian CNS, yet little is known about how interneuronal diversity is generated, or how interneurons choose synaptic partners during neural circuit assembly. We have identified several hundred Gal4 lines expressed in 1–5 interneurons. We are using these lines to (1) use optogenetics to determine the function of these interneurons in larval behaviors, and (2) locate these interneurons within a TEM serial reconstruction of the entire larval CNS (in collaboration with Albert Cardona's lab, JFRC) to identify the relevant neural circuits. Once we have neural circuits that drive specific behaviors, we will determine the developmental mechanisms shared by neurons in a circuit, and test these mechanisms for a role in circuit formation. Ultimately we hope to understand how the mechanisms used to generate neuronal identity are also used to generate neuronal circuits. In addition to larval locomotor circuits, we are working on how larval neuroblasts generate circuits within the adult central complex that drive navigation behaviors.