Sweet neurons inhibit texture discrimination by signaling TMC-expressing mechanosensitive neurons in Drosophila.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Integration of stimuli of different modalities is an important but incompletely understood process during decision making. Here, we show that Drosophila are capable of integrating mechanosensory and chemosensory information of choice options when deciding where to deposit their eggs. Specifically, females switch from preferring the softer option for egg-laying when both options are sugar free to being indifferent between them when both contain sucrose. Such sucrose-induced indifference between options of different hardness requires functional sweet neurons, and, curiously, the Transmembrane Channel-like (TMC)-expressing mechanosensitive neurons that have been previously shown to promote discrimination of substrate hardness during feeding. Further, axons of sweet neurons directly contact axons of TMC-expressing neurons in the brain and stimulation of sweet neurons increases Ca2+ influx into axons of TMC-expressing neurons. These results uncover one mechanism by which Drosophila integrate taste and tactile information when deciding where to deposit their eggs and reveal that TMC-expressing neurons play opposing roles in hardness discrimination in two different decisions.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wu, S-F; Ja, Y-L; Zhang, Y-J; Yang, C-H

Published Date

  • June 11, 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 /

PubMed ID

  • 31184585

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6559806

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2050-084X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.7554/eLife.46165


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England