Central projections of photoreceptor axons originating from ectopic eyes in Drosophila

Clements, Jason and Lu, Zhiyuan and Gehring, Walter J. and Meinertzhagen, Ian A. and Callaerts, Patrick. (2008) Central projections of photoreceptor axons originating from ectopic eyes in Drosophila. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 105, H. 26. pp. 8968-8973.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5262483

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Ectopic expression of the retinal determination gene eyeless (ey) induces the formation of supernumerary eyes on antennae, legs, wings, and halteres. These ectopic eyes form ommatidia that contain photoreceptors and accessory cells and respond to light. Here, we demonstrate that ectopic eyes on antennae and legs extend axonal projections to the central nervous system. Furthermore, electroretinograms and morphological evidence indicate that the photoreceptor axons of at least the antennal ectopic eyes can form completely constituted ectopic synapses with foreign postsynaptic elements and suggest that transmission at these sites may be functional. However, the ectopic axons do not connect to their correct optic lobe targets and do not project deeply into the neuropile, but rather form synapses at superficial positions in the neuropils. By means of confocal and electron microscopy we show that these ectopic synapses resemble normal synapses, albeit with some distinct morphological differences. Our data strongly suggest that the developmental programs controlling photoreceptor synaptogenesis and visual map formation depend to a considerable extent on presynaptic and thus photoreceptor-autonomous steps. Our data also suggest that photoreceptor axon projections and the establishment of the highly stereotypical neural circuitry in the optic lobe, the normal target neuropil, may depend on target-specific cues that appear to be absent from the antennal lobe and thoracic ganglion.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Cell Biology (Gehring)
UniBasel Contributors:Gehring, Walter Jakob
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:21
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 13:24

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