In vivo functional expression system for Drosophila gustatory receptors


Principal Investigator: REBECCA DELVENTHAL
Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Insect behaviors driven by chemosensation, such as host-seeking, feeding, and mating, have a major impact on human activities. Insects contribute to the spread of a variety of infectious diseases through feeding on human hosts, and they also cause a great deal of agricultural loss through feeding on crops. Insects locate their human or plant hosts using olfactory cues, and they decide whether or not to feed based on gustatory cues found on the host. Bitter compounds are of particular interest because they are behaviorally aversive and can act as feeding deterrents. Although significant progress has been made in understanding insect odor coding at the periphery, much less is known about taste coding, particularly for the sensing of bitter compounds. In contrast to olfactory receptors, the extensive co-expression of bitter receptors in taste neurons makes determination of individual receptor response profiles exceedingly difficult. To address this problem, I have devised an in vivo functional expression system in Drosophila, the "decoder bitter neuron system", that allows me to express an individual bitter receptor of the gustatory receptor (Gr) family and record the responses it confers to a wide array of bitter compounds. [I have chosen Drosophila as the model organism because of the wealth of unique genetic and molecular tools available that allowed me to design and develop this system.] I will use this "decoder" bitter neuron system to analyze different aspects of bitter Gr function, such as tuning breadth and sensitivity, as well as investigate possible interactions of co-expressed Grs. [I will also conduct a pilot analysis of a mosquito predicted bitter Gr, expressed in my system.] This may lead to a greater understanding of how insects, in general, encode bitter tastant identity, which could be applied to insect pests and aid in developing improved feeding deterrents to fight against agricultural crop damage and the spread of infectious disease.
Funding Period: 2012-12-04 - 2015-12-03
more information: NIH RePORT

Detail Information

Research Grants31

  1. Genetic Analysis of Mosquito Olfactory Preference for Humans
    CAROLYN SARAH MCBRIDE; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..The results are expected to provide insight into the way olfactory preferences are determined and will focus efforts to develop novel approaches to prevent mosquitoes from biting humans and transmitting human disease. ..
  2. Receptors and Neurons Mediating Acid Taste in Drosophila
    ANUPAMA ARUN DAHANUKAR; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..An understanding of the function of evolutionarily conserved receptors in the detection of carboxylic acids may lead to novel strategies for control of arthropod disease vectors. ..
  3. Examination of Odorant Receptors in Vector Mosquitoes
    Laurence J Zwiebel; Fiscal Year: 2013
  4. Mechanisms of Enhanced Arbovirus Infection by Mosquito Saliva
    Kristen A Bernard; Fiscal Year: 2013
  5. Chromosome-based genome assembly for Culex quinquefasciatus
    Maria Sharakhova; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..quinquefasciatus chromosomes. The availability of a high-quality genome assembly for Cx. quinquefasciatus will enhance research in vector biology. Results of this project will be disseminated through VectorBase. ..
  6. Peruvian/Brazilian Amazon Center of Excellence in Malaria
    Joseph M Vinetz; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..We hypothesize that asymptomatic infections may represent a major reservoir of parasites in this region, which is not addressed by traditional malaria control strategies. ..
  7. Neural circuits mediating food, pherome, and repulsive odor behaviors
    CHRISTOPHER JOHN POTTER; Fiscal Year: 2013
  8. Rocky Mountain Regional Center of Excellence or Biodefense and Emerging Infectiou
    John T Belisle; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..abstract_text> ..
  9. Molecular Improvement of Bacterial Mosquito Larvicides
    Brian A Federici; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..Combined, these studies will strengthen the basis for using larvicides as component of integrated vector management programs for controlling species belonging to the most important vector genera, namely, Anopheles, Aedes, and Culex. ..
  10. Analysis of Chemosensory Receptor Genes
    John R Carlson; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..The project also concerns the molecular and cellular basis of a decision, whether to accept or reject a potential food source, which is made by all animals and which has important implications for public health. ..
  11. Disruption of Host-Seeking Behavior in Aedes and Culex Mosquitoes using Odorants
    Anandasankar Ray; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..Successful completion of the proposed studies will lead to the development of a new generation of effective and safe insect repellents and lures that act by modifying odor receptor function. ..
  12. Taste Receptor Genes and Sensory Coding
    HUBERT O AMREIN; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..For these studies, we will use the genetically amenable model system of Drosophila, whose taste sensory system shares many basic principles with that of mammals, including humans. ..
  13. Pacific NorthWest Regional Center of Excellence (PNWRCE)
    Jay A Nelson; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..pseudomallei host pathogen response during both the septicemic as well as the intracellular phases of the disease. ..
  14. Northeast Biodefense Center
    W Ian Lipkin; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..As a Center based in a School of Public Health and a State Department of Health, the NBC has a firm commitment to and practical understanding of Emergency Preparedness. ..
  15. Antiviral Pathways in Disease Vector Mosquitoes
    Zach N Adelman; Fiscal Year: 2013
  16. Analysis of a Large Family of Candidate Taste Receptors
    John R Carlson; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..The project also concerns the molecular and cellular basis of a decision, whether to accept or reject a potential food source, which is made by all animals and which has important implications for public health. ..
  17. The Neuropeptide Control of Mosquito Host-Seeking Behavior
    Jeff Liesch; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..This information will clarify the neural mechanism of Head Peptide-I inhibition, and could form the basis of novel strategies to control mosquito host-seeking behavior. ..
  18. Targeting dengue in the mosquito with small molecules
    MARIANO A GARCIABLANCO; Fiscal Year: 2013
  19. Pacific Southwest RCE for Biodefense &Emerging Infectious Diseases Research
    Alan G Barbour; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..abstract_text> ..
  20. Genetic Analysis of Anopheles mosquitoes
    DAVID A O'BROCHTA; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..This new detailed understanding of this critical tissue in a major vector o human disease is expected to lead to the conception and implementation of new strategies for disrupting pathogen transmission. ..
  21. Assembly of the Central Olfactory Networks in Drosophila
    Liqun Luo; Fiscal Year: 2013
  22. New England Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious D
    Dennis L Kasper; Fiscal Year: 2013
    ..NERCE will also continue its Developmental Projects program and Career Development in Biodefense program in an effort to initiate new research efforts and to attract new investigators to this field. ..