The role of the mushroom body in larval olfactory learning
|Director of thesis||Dr. Andreas Thum|
|Co-director of thesis|
|Summary of thesis||
I intent to analyse anatomically the Drosophila larval brain by using various Gal4 drivers in combination with hydroxyurea treatment to identify the embryonic or larval origin of the intrinsic mushroom body Kenyon cells with respect to associative olfactory learning. I will also attempt to confirm that NP1131 Gal4 drives expression in embryonic born mushroom body neurons, important for the formation of appetitive olfactory associations. Additionally, I will investigate whether the same neurons are necessary to form olfactory associations by using salt and electric shock as a negative reinforcer. Finally, I will use different odor combinations to check whether the role of the embryonic born Kenyon cells we identified in associative learning is odor specific. With these experiments I will try to support the hypothesis that olfactory associations in Drosophila larvae are stored in a small set of embryonic born mushroom body intrinsic neurons and the participation of larval born Kenyon cells that are gradually integrated in the developing mushroom body during larval life is highly unlikely.
|Administrative delay for the defence|