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Université de Fribourg

Statistical modelling of navigational decisions based on intensity versus directionality in Drosophila larval phototaxis

Andres-Bragado, Lucia de ; Mazza, Christian ; Senn, Walter ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: Scientific Reports, 2018, vol. 8, no. 1, p. 11272

Organisms use environmental cues for directed navigation. Understanding the basic logic behind navigational decisions critically depends on the complexity of the nervous system. Due to the comparably simple organization of the nervous system of the fruit fly larva, it stands as a powerful model to study decision-making processes that underlie directed navigation. We have quantitatively...

Université de Fribourg

Regulators of Long-Term Memory Revealed by Mushroom Body-Specific Gene Expression Profiling in Drosophila melanogaster

Widmer, Yves F. ; Bilican, Adem ; Bruggmann, Rémy ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: Genetics, 2018, vol. 209, no. 4, p. 1167–1181

Memory formation is achieved by genetically tightly controlled molecular pathways that result in a change of synaptic strength and synapse organization. While for short- term memory traces, rapidly acting biochemical pathways are in place, the formation of long-lasting memories requires changes in the transcriptional program of a cell. Although many genes involved in learning and memory...

Université de Fribourg

Patterning mechanisms diversify neuroepithelial domains in the Drosophila optic placode

Mishra, Abhishek Kumar ; Bernardo-Garcia, F. Javier ; Fritsch, Cornelia ; Humberg, Tim-Henning ; Egger, Boris ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: PLOS Genetics, 2018, vol. 14, no. 4, p. e1007353

The central nervous system develops from monolayered neuroepithelial sheets. In a first step patterning mechanisms subdivide the seemingly uniform epithelia into domains allowing an increase of neuronal diversity in a tightly controlled spatial and temporal manner. In Drosophila, neuroepithelial patterning of the embryonic optic placode gives rise to the larval eye primordium, consisting of...

Université de Fribourg

Characterization of the bHLH family of transcriptional regulators in the acoel S. roscoffensis and their putative role in neurogenesis

Perea?Atienza, E. ; Sprecher, Simon G. ; Martínez, Pedro

In: EvoDevo, 2018, vol. 9, no. 1, p. -

he basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) family of transcription factors is one of the largest superfamilies of regulatory transcription factors and is widely used in eukaryotic organisms. They play an essential role in a range of metabolic, physiological, and developmental processes, including the development of the nervous system (NS). These transcription factors have been studied in many...

Université de Fribourg

An expression atlas of chemosensory ionotropic glutamate receptors identifies a molecular basis of carbonation detection

Sánchez-Alcañiz, Juan Antonio ; Silbering, Ana Florencia ; Croset, Vincent ; Zappia, Giovanna ; Sivasubramaniam, Anantha Krishna ; Abuin, Liliane ; Sahai, Saumya Yashmohini ; Auer, Thomas O. ; Cruchet, Steeve ; Neagu-Maier, G. Larisa ; Sprecher, Simon G. ; Yapici, Nilay ; Benton, Richard

Taste perception is thought to involve the encoding of appetitive and aversive chemical cues in food through a limited number of sensory pathways. Through expression analysis of the complete repertoire of Drosophila Ionotropic Receptors (IRs), a sensory subfamily of ionotropic glutamate receptors, we reveal that the majority of IRs is expressed in diverse peripheral neuron populations across...

Université de Fribourg

Dedicated photoreceptor pathways in Drosophila larvae mediate navigation by processing either spatial or temporal cues

Humberg, Tim-Henning ; Bruegger, Pascal ; Afonso, Bruno ; Zlatic, Marta ; Truman, James W. ; Gershow, Marc ; Samuel, Aravinthan ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: Nature Communications, 2018, vol. 9, no. 1, p. 1260

To integrate changing environmental cues with high spatial and temporal resolution is critical for animals to orient themselves. Drosophila larvae show an effective motor program to navigate away from light sources. How the larval visual circuit processes light stimuli to control navigational decision remains unknown. The larval visual system is composed of two sensory input channels,...

Université de Fribourg

Evolutionary origin of synapses and neurons – Bridging the gap

Burkhardt, Pawel ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: BioEssays, 2017/39/10/n/a-n/a

The evolutionary origin of synapses and neurons is an enigmatic subject that inspires much debate. Non-bilaterian metazoans, both with and without neurons and their closest relatives already contain many components of the molecular toolkits for synapse functions. The origin of these components and their assembly into ancient synaptic signaling machineries are particularly important in light...

Université de Fribourg

Structure and development of the subesophageal zone of the Drosophila brain. II. Sensory compartments

Kendroud, Sarah ; Bohra, Ali A. ; Kuert, Philipp A. ; Nguyen, Bao ; Guillermin, Oriane ; Sprecher, Simon G. ; Reichert, Heinrich ; VijayRaghavan, Krishnaswamy ; Hartenstein, Volker

In: Journal of Comparative Neurology, 2018, vol. 526, no. 1, p. 33–58

The subesophageal zone (SEZ) of the Drosophila brain processes mechanosensory and gustatory sensory input from sensilla located on the head, mouth cavity and trunk. Motor output from the SEZ directly controls the movements involved in feeding behavior. In an accompanying paper (Hartenstein et al., 2017), we analyzed the systems of fiber tracts and secondary lineages to establish reliable...

Université de Fribourg

Age- and wavelength-dependency of drosophila larval phototaxis and behavioral responses to natural lighting conditions

Humberg, Tim-Henning ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 2017, vol. 11, p. -

Animals use various environmental cues as key determinant for their behavioral decisions. Visual systems are hereby responsible to translate light-dependent stimuli into neuronal encoded information. Even though the larval eyes of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster are comparably simple, they comprise two types of photoreceptor neurons (PRs), defined by different Rhodopsin genes expressed....

Université de Fribourg

Successive requirement of Glass and Hazy for photoreceptor specification and maintenance in Drosophila

Bernardo-Garcia, F. Javier ; Humberg, Tim-Henning ; Fritsch, Cornelia ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: Fly, 2017, vol. 11, no. 2, p. 112–120

Development of the insect compound eye requires a highly controlled interplay between transcription factors. However, the genetic mechanisms that link early eye field specification to photoreceptor terminal differentiation and fate maintenance remain largely unknown. Here, we decipher the function of 2 transcription factors, Glass and Hazy, which play a central role during photoreceptor...