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Competing dopamine neurons drive oviposition choice for ethanol in Drosophila

Reza Azanchi, Karla R. Kaun and Ulrike Heberlein
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 110, No. 52 (December 24, 2013), pp. 21153-21158
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23761871
Page Count: 6
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Abstract

The neural circuits that mediate behavioral choice evaluate and integrate information from the environment with internal demands and then initiate a behavioral response. Even circuits that support simple decisions remain poorly understood. In Drosophila melanogaster, oviposition on a substrate containing ethanol enhances fitness; however, little is known about the neural mechanisms mediating this important choice behavior. Here, we characterize the neural modulation of this simple choice and show that distinct subsets of dopaminergic neurons compete to either enhance or inhibit egg-laying preference for ethanol-containing food. Moreover, activity in α′β′ neurons of the mushroom body and a subset of ellipsoid body ring neurons (R2) is required for this choice. We propose a model where competing dopaminergic systems modulate oviposition preference to adjust to changes in natural oviposition substrates.

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