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In Drosophila, the gustatory receptor (Gr) gene family contains 60 family members that encode 68 proteins through alternative splicing. Some gustatory receptors (Grs) are involved in the sensing of sugars, bitter substrates, CO(2), pheromones, and light. Here, we systematically examined the expression of all 68 Grs in abdominal neurons which project to the abdominal ganglion of the central nervous system using the GAL4/UAS system. Gr gene expression patterns have been successfully analyzed in previous studies by using the GAL4/UAS system to drive reporter gene expression. Interestingly, 21 Gr-GAL4 drivers showed abdominal ganglion projection, and 18 of these 21 Gr-GAL4 drivers labeled multidendritic neurons of the abdominal wall. 4 drivers also labeled neuronal processes innervating the reproductive organs. The peripheral expression of Gr-GAL4 drivers in abdominal multidendritic neurons or neurons innervating the reproductive organs suggests that these Grs have atypical sensory functions in these organs not limited to conventional taste sensing.

Citation

Jeong-Ho Park, Jae Young Kwon. A systematic analysis of Drosophila gustatory receptor gene expression in abdominal neurons which project to the central nervous system. Molecules and cells. 2011 Oct;32(4):375-81

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PMID: 21870111

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