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Functional Gustatory Role of Chemoreceptors in Drosophila Wings

Abstract : Neuroanatomical evidence argues for the presence of taste sensilla in Drosophila wings; however, the taste physiology of insect wings remains hypothetical, and a comprehensive link to mechanical functions, such as flight, wing flapping, and grooming, is lacking. Our data show that the sensilla of the Drosophila anterior wing margin respond to both sweet and bitter molecules through an increase in cytosolic Ca2+ levels. Conversely, genetically modified flies presenting a wing-specific reduction in chemosensory cells show severe defects in both wing taste signaling and the exploratory guidance associated with chemodetection. In Drosophila, the chemodetection machinery includes mechanical grooming, which facilitates the contact between tastants and wing chemoreceptors, and the vibrations of flapping wings that nebulize volatile molecules as carboxylic acids. Together, these data demonstrate that the Drosophila wing chemosensory sensilla are a functional taste organ and that they may have a role in the exploration of ecological niches.
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Hussein Raad, Jean-François Ferveur, Neil Ledger, Maria Capovilla, Alain Robichon. Functional Gustatory Role of Chemoreceptors in Drosophila Wings. Cell Reports, Elsevier Inc, 2016, 15 (7), pp.1442 - 1454. ⟨10.1016/j.celrep.2016.04.040⟩. ⟨hal-01396463⟩

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