Odd neutrons & higher olfactory centres
How do the Odd neurons link higher Olfactory centers to motor circuits controlling chemotaxis?
To answer this question the goal is to construct a detailed circuit map
1. In collaboration with Albert Cardona (Janelia/Cambridge) I will map, at the ultrastructural level, the neural circuitry linking the Odd neurons to locomotor circuitry at larval stages. This information will help us to identify the number of neural components and complexity of neurons within the chemotaxis pathway. This work will also reveal the anatomy of individual neurons within the pathway.
2. With this information in hand we can use the large collection of enhancer fly lines from Janelia to screen for driver lines that are expressed in neural components postsynaptic to the Odd neurons and match the anatomy identified above. This will allow me to generate a genetic toolkit through which I can target the cells to which the Odd neurons are directly or indirectly connected. This will allow us to modulate neural function specifically in neurons that are postsynaptic to the Odd neurons. For example, we can silence the neurons by expressing Kir2.1 or make neurons more excitable using NaChbac and address how manipulating neural activity affect chemotaxis behaviour