Our ultimate goal is to elucidate how sensory processing occurs in the brain at the level of individual cells and circuits, and how this leads to directed behavior through the process of decision making. Here, we will create neurogenetic reagents that will help introduce the desert fly Drosophila mojavensis as a new comparative model system to study the neurobiology of temperature and humidity sensing and preference. We will use CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology and site-specific integration to produce D. mojavensis strains that can be flexibly used to silence, image the activity of, or activate select cell types that process temperature and humidity signals at the periphery and in the brain. Our expectation is that, once the key foundational work has been completed, our reagents will help us and others to design powerful comparative studies to establish conservation and divergence between this extremophile species and its laboratory relative D. melanogaster, and ultimately help identify general principles used in sensory processing by all animals.
|Effective start/end date||1/1/23 → 12/31/24|
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (1R21NS130554-01)
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