Positioning sensory terminals in the olfactory lobe of Drosophila by Robo signaling. uri icon


  • Olfactory receptor neurons and the interneurons of the olfactory lobe are organized in distinct units called glomeruli. We have used expression patterns and genetic analysis to demonstrate that a combinatorial code of Roundabout (Robo) receptors act to position sensory terminals within the olfactory lobe. Groups of sensory neurons possess distinct blends of Robo and Robo3 and disruption of levels by loss-of-function or ectopic expression results in aberrant targeting. In the wild type, most of the neurons send collateral branches to the contralateral lobe. Our data suggests that guidance of axons across brain hemispheres is mediated by Slit-dependent Robo2 signaling. The location of sensory arbors at distinct positions within the lobe allows short-range interactions with projection neurons leading to formation of the glomeruli.

publication date

  • May 2004