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Humidity Sensing in Drosophila

Enjin, Anders LU ; Zaharieva, Emanuela E; Frank, Dominic D; Mansourian, Suzan LU ; Suh, Greg S B; Gallio, Marco and Stensmyr, Marcus C LU (2016) In Current Biology 26(10). p.8-1352
Abstract

Environmental humidity influences the fitness and geographic distribution of all animals [1]. Insects in particular use humidity cues to navigate the environment, and previous work suggests the existence of specific sensory mechanisms to detect favorable humidity ranges [2-5]. Yet, the molecular and cellular basis of humidity sensing (hygrosensation) remains poorly understood. Here we describe genes and neurons necessary for hygrosensation in the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. We find that members of the Drosophila genus display species-specific humidity preferences related to conditions in their native habitats. Using a simple behavioral assay, we find that the ionotropic receptors IR40a, IR93a, and IR25a are all required for... (More)

Environmental humidity influences the fitness and geographic distribution of all animals [1]. Insects in particular use humidity cues to navigate the environment, and previous work suggests the existence of specific sensory mechanisms to detect favorable humidity ranges [2-5]. Yet, the molecular and cellular basis of humidity sensing (hygrosensation) remains poorly understood. Here we describe genes and neurons necessary for hygrosensation in the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. We find that members of the Drosophila genus display species-specific humidity preferences related to conditions in their native habitats. Using a simple behavioral assay, we find that the ionotropic receptors IR40a, IR93a, and IR25a are all required for humidity preference in D. melanogaster. Yet, whereas IR40a is selectively required for hygrosensory responses, IR93a and IR25a mediate both humidity and temperature preference. Consistent with this, the expression of IR93a and IR25a includes thermosensory neurons of the arista. In contrast, IR40a is excluded from the arista but is expressed (and required) in specialized neurons innervating pore-less sensilla of the sacculus, a unique invagination of the third antennal segment. Indeed, calcium imaging showed that IR40a neurons directly respond to changes in humidity, and IR40a knockdown or IR93a mutation reduced their responses to stimuli. Taken together, our results suggest that the preference for a specific humidity range depends on specialized sacculus neurons, and that the processing of environmental humidity can happen largely in parallel to that of temperature.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Current Biology
volume
26
issue
10
pages
7 pages
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • Scopus:84964948264
ISSN
1879-0445
DOI
10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.049
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d317244a-0c2b-4ce2-af88-a82cbeee6423
date added to LUP
2016-06-22 13:35:47
date last changed
2016-11-13 04:40:28
@misc{d317244a-0c2b-4ce2-af88-a82cbeee6423,
  abstract     = {<p>Environmental humidity influences the fitness and geographic distribution of all animals [1]. Insects in particular use humidity cues to navigate the environment, and previous work suggests the existence of specific sensory mechanisms to detect favorable humidity ranges [2-5]. Yet, the molecular and cellular basis of humidity sensing (hygrosensation) remains poorly understood. Here we describe genes and neurons necessary for hygrosensation in the vinegar fly Drosophila melanogaster. We find that members of the Drosophila genus display species-specific humidity preferences related to conditions in their native habitats. Using a simple behavioral assay, we find that the ionotropic receptors IR40a, IR93a, and IR25a are all required for humidity preference in D. melanogaster. Yet, whereas IR40a is selectively required for hygrosensory responses, IR93a and IR25a mediate both humidity and temperature preference. Consistent with this, the expression of IR93a and IR25a includes thermosensory neurons of the arista. In contrast, IR40a is excluded from the arista but is expressed (and required) in specialized neurons innervating pore-less sensilla of the sacculus, a unique invagination of the third antennal segment. Indeed, calcium imaging showed that IR40a neurons directly respond to changes in humidity, and IR40a knockdown or IR93a mutation reduced their responses to stimuli. Taken together, our results suggest that the preference for a specific humidity range depends on specialized sacculus neurons, and that the processing of environmental humidity can happen largely in parallel to that of temperature.</p>},
  author       = {Enjin, Anders and Zaharieva, Emanuela E and Frank, Dominic D and Mansourian, Suzan and Suh, Greg S B and Gallio, Marco and Stensmyr, Marcus C},
  issn         = {1879-0445},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {05},
  number       = {10},
  pages        = {8--1352},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x915a420)},
  series       = {Current Biology},
  title        = {Humidity Sensing in Drosophila},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2016.03.049},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2016},
}