Dissecting of the neuronal circuit for vision in the Drosophila larva: identifying neurons and their synaptic connectivity
(Nanae Gendre, Tripti Gupta)


Light-perception is mediated by photoreceptors neurons (PRs) in the eye. These Photoreceptors project into a specific brain region termed LON (larval optic neuropile), where they transmit the information to their target neurons. Brain neurons innervating the LON are likely involved in certain visual behaviors. In order to understand the neuronal network it is key to know these neurons, to identify the neurotransmitters used, which brain regions they innervate and where pre-synaptic and post-synaptic sites are located. We use genetic tools available in Drosophila to label individual neurons within a cluster of cells to identify their actually anatomical property (flip-out technique), specific pre- and post-synaptic labels to identify their site of communication. Intriguingly others and we have identified the neurotransmitters used; we are therefore now investigating how individual components in the visual pathway are communicating in order to control visual behavior
In addition to genetic labeling we use serial EM reconstruction to assess the connectivity within the LON and following the information flow into the higher brain.



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