Testing Odor Response Stereotypy in the Drosophila Mushroom Body

Mala Murthy, Ila Fiete, Gilles Laurent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


The mushroom body is an insect brain structure required for olfactory learning. Its principal neurons, the Kenyon cells (KCs), form a large cell population. The neuronal populations from which their olfactory input derives (olfactory sensory and projection neurons) can be identified individually by genetic, anatomical, and physiological criteria. We ask whether KCs are similarly identifiable individually, using genetic markers and whole-cell patch-clamp in vivo. We find that across-animal responses are as diverse within the genetically labeled subset as across all KCs in a larger sample. These results combined with those from a simple model, using projection neuron odor responses as inputs, suggest that the precise circuit specification seen at earlier stages of odor processing is likely absent among the mushroom body KCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1023
Number of pages15
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 25 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Neuroscience




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