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1. chinaXiv:201605.01393 [pdf]

A conditioned visual orientation requires the ellipsoid body in Drosophila

Guo, Chao; Du, Yifei; Yuan, Deliang; Li, Meixia; Gong, Haiyun; Gong, Zhefeng; Liu, Li; Guo, Chao; Du, Yifei; Yuan, Deliang; Liu, Li
Subjects: Biology >> Biophysics >> Neurosciences

Orientation, the spatial organization of animal behavior, is an essential faculty of animals. Bacteria and lower animals such as insects exhibit taxis, innate orientation behavior, directly toward or away from a directional cue. Organisms can also orient themselves at a specific angle relative to the cues. In this study, using Drosophila as a model system, we established a visual orientation conditioning paradigm based on a flight simulator in which a stationary flying fly could control the rotation of a visual object. By coupling aversive heat shocks to a fly's orientation toward one side of the visual object, we found that the fly could be conditioned to orientate toward the left or right side of the frontal visual object and retain this conditioned visual orientation. The lower and upper visual fields have different roles in conditioned visual orientation. Transfer experiments showed that conditioned visual orientation could generalize between visual targets of different sizes, compactness, or vertical positions, but not of contour orientation. Rut-Type I adenylyl cyclase and Dnc-phosphodiesterase were dispensable for visual orientation conditioning. Normal activity and scb signaling in R3/R4d neurons of the ellipsoid body were required for visual orientation conditioning. Our studies established a visual orientation conditioning paradigm and examined the behavioral properties and neural circuitry of visual orientation, an important component of the insect's spatial navigation.

submitted time 2016-05-12 Hits1757Downloads635 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201605.01340 [pdf]

Neural functions of long noncoding RNAs in Drosophila

Li, Meixia; Liu, Li
Subjects: Biology >> Biophysics

Long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) is an emerging category of transcript, and comprises the majority of the transcriptome of various complex organisms. The biological functions of only a handful of lncRNAs have been investigated in detail, showing involvement in a wide range of biological processes through different functional paradigms. However, most lncRNAs remain to be identified. Many lncRNAs are predicted to function, often preferentially, in the nervous system, potentially playing roles in mediating neural functions such as development, behavior, and cognition. To examine the biological significance and potential mechanisms of the remaining unknown neural lncRNAs, certain tractable model organisms, such as Drosophila, can provide advantages including the use of numerous genetic tools. Herein, we summarize recent progress on the in vivo or potential functions of Drosophila lncRNAs, in particular, behavior and development-related lncRNAs.

submitted time 2016-05-11 Hits307Downloads204 Comment 0

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