A Hard-Wired Glutamatergic Circuit Pools and Relays UV Signals to Mediate Spectral Preference in Drosophila

Thangavel Karuppudurai, Tzu Yang Lin, Chun Yuan Ting, Randall Pursley, Krishna V. Melnattur, Fengqiu Diao, Benjamin H. White, Lindsey J. Macpherson, Marco Gallio, Thomas Pohida, Chi Hon Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many visual animals have innate preferences for particular wavelengths of light, which can be modified by learning. Drosophila's preference for UV over visible light requires UV-sensing R7 photoreceptors and specific wide-field amacrine neurons called Dm8. Here we identify three types of medulla projection neurons downstream of R7 and Dm8 and show that selectively inactivating one of them (Tm5c) abolishes UV preference. Using a modified GRASP method to probe synaptic connections at the single-cell level, we reveal that each Dm8 neuron forms multiple synaptic contacts with Tm5c in the center of Dm8's dendritic field but sparse connections in the periphery. By single-cell transcript profiling and RNAi-mediated knockdown, we determine that Tm5c uses the kainate receptor Clumsy to receive excitatory glutamate input from Dm8. We conclude that R7s→Dm8→Tm5c form a hard-wired glutamatergic circuit that mediates UV preference by pooling ~16 R7 signals for transfer to the lobula, a higher visual center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-615
Number of pages13
JournalNeuron
Volume81
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 5 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A Hard-Wired Glutamatergic Circuit Pools and Relays UV Signals to Mediate Spectral Preference in Drosophila'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Karuppudurai, T., Lin, T. Y., Ting, C. Y., Pursley, R., Melnattur, K. V., Diao, F., White, B. H., Macpherson, L. J., Gallio, M., Pohida, T., & Lee, C. H. (2014). A Hard-Wired Glutamatergic Circuit Pools and Relays UV Signals to Mediate Spectral Preference in Drosophila. Neuron, 81(3), 603-615. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2013.12.010