Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 336, Issue 3, pp 509–519 | Cite as

Morphological characterization of single fan-shaped body neurons in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Weizhe Li
  • Yufeng Pan
  • Zhipeng Wang
  • Haiyun Gong
  • Zhefeng Gong
  • Li Liu
Regular Article


The fan-shaped body is the largest substructure of the central complex in Drosophila melanogaster. Two groups of large-field neurons that innervate the fan-shaped body, viz., F1 and F5 neurons, have recently been found to be involved in visual pattern memory for “contour orientation” and “elevation” in a rut-dependent manner. The F5 neurons have been found to be responsible for the parameter “elevation” in a for-dependent manner. We have shown here that the F1 neuron also affects visual memory for “contour orientation” in a for-dependent way. With the help of Gal4/UAS and FLP-out techniques, we have characterized the morphological features of these two groups of neurons at single neuron resolution. We have observed that F1 or F5 neurons are groups of isomorphic individual neurons. Single F1 neurons have three main arborization regions: one in the first layer of the fan-shaped body, one in the ventral body, and another in the inferior medial protocerebrum. Single F5 neurons have two arborization regions: one in the fifth layer of the fan-shaped body and the other in the superior medial protocerebrum. The polarity of the F1 and F5 neurons has been studied with the Syt-GFP marker. Our results indicate the existence of presynaptic sites of both F1 and F5 neurons located in the fan-shaped body and postsynaptic sites outside of the fan-shaped body.


Central complex Fan-shaped body Large-field neuron Visual pattern memory Drosophila melanogaster (Insecta) 



We thank Dr. A.S. Chiang for the yw;UAS-mCD8-GFP and hsFLP;CyO/Sp;UAS>rCD2, y+ >mCD8-GFP stocks and Dr. E. Buchner for providing the nc82 antibody. We are grateful to Prof. M. Heisenberg and Mr. R. Wolf for discussion and to Dr. K. Ito for comments on our manuscript. Our thanks are also due to the Bloomington Stock Center and Drosophila Genetic Resource Center at Kyoto Institute of Technology (DGRC) for fly stocks and to Dr. M. B. Sokolowski for the for R and for S stocks.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of BiophysicsChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP. R. China
  2. 2.Graduate University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingP. R. China

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