Journal of biological rhythms

Drosophila olfactory response rhythms require clock genes but not pigment dispersing factor or lateral neurons.

PMID 15851530


Odors elicit a number of behavioral responses, including attraction and repulsion in Drosophila. In this study, the authors used a T-maze apparatus to show that wild-type Drosophila melanogaster exhibit a robust circadian rhythm in the olfactory attractive and repulsive responses. These responses were lower during the day and began to rise at early night, peaking at about the middle of the night and then declining thereafter. They were also independent of locomotor activity. The olfactory response rhythms were lost in period or timeless mutant flies (per0, tim0), indicating that clock genes control circadian rhythms of olfactory behavior. The rhythms in olfactory response persisted in the absence of the pigment-dispersing factor neuropeptide or the central pacemaker lateral neurons known to drive circadian patterns of locomotion and eclosion. These results indicate that the circadian rhythms in olfactory behavior in Drosophila are driven by pacemakers that do not control the rest-activity cycle and are likely in the antennae.

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