Invertebrate Neuroscience

, Volume 3, Issue 2–3, pp 127–135 | Cite as

Odorant response of individual sensilla on theDrosophila antenna

  • Peter Clyne
  • Alan Grant
  • Robert O'Connell
  • John R. Carlson
Articles from the ICINN 97 Conference Sensory Systems


We have documented odor responses of all morphological classes of sensilla on the surface of theDrosophila antenna: sensilla basiconica, sensilla trichodea, and sensilla coeloconica. Both subtypes of s. basiconica, large and small, respond to odors. S. trichodea fall into different functional types. Type 1 appears narrowly tuned, as it responded only tocis-vaccenyl acetate, believed to be a pheromone. Type 2 responded totrans-2-hexenal and 4-methyl cyclohexanol. These two types of s. trichodea are differentially distributed on the antennal surface, and have dramatically different frequencies of spontaneous action potentials. Likewise, there are multiple types of s. coeloconica. One type is broadly tuned, responding most strongly to a test stimulus of butyric acid, but also to a variety of other odors; it is restricted to the dorso-medial portion of the third antennal segment. A second type gave detectable responses only totrans-2-hexenal. These results demonstrate that all classes of sensilla are olfactory, and they reveal the organizational complexity of theDrosophila olfactory system.

Key Words

Olfaction Drosophila antenna physiology sensilla single-unit recording 


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Copyright information

© Sheffield Academic Press 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Clyne
    • 1
  • Alan Grant
    • 2
  • Robert O'Connell
    • 2
  • John R. Carlson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Worcester Foundation for Biomedical ResearchShrewsburyUSA

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