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Free-flight responses of Drosophila melanogaster to attractive odors

Budick, Seth A. and Dickinson, Michael H. (2006) Free-flight responses of Drosophila melanogaster to attractive odors. Journal of Experimental Biology, 209 (15). pp. 3001-3017. ISSN 0022-0949.

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Many motile organisms localize the source of attractive odorants by following plumes upwind. In the case of D. melanogaster, little is known of how individuals alter their flight trajectories after encountering and losing a plume of an attractive odorant. We have characterized the three-dimensional flight behavior of D. melanogaster in a wind tunnel under a variety of odor conditions. In the absence of olfactory cues, hungry flies initiate flight and display anemotactic orientation. Following contact with a narrow ribbon plume of an attractive odor, flies reduce their crosswind velocity while flying faster upwind, resulting in a surge directed toward the odor source. Following loss of odor contact due to plume truncation, flies frequently initiate a stereotyped crosswind casting response, a behavior rarely observed in a continuous odor plume. Similarly, within a homogeneous odor cloud, flies move fast while maintaining an upwind heading. These results indicate both similarities and differences between the behavior of D. melanogaster and the responses of male moths to pheromone plumes, suggesting possible differences in underlying neural mechanisms.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Dickinson, Michael H.0000-0002-8587-9936
Additional Information:© The Company of Biologists Ltd 2006. Accepted 26 April 2006. The authors wish to thank Titus Neumann for his assistance with the fly visualization system, Andrew Straw for help in programming the pulse generating system and Dan Rizzuto for his implementation of the non-parametric test for common mean dispersion. The manuscript also benefited greatly from the comments of two anonymous reviewers. This work was supported by an NSF predoctoral fellowship to S.A.B. and by grants from the Packard Foundation and the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies through grant DAAD19-03-D-0004 from the Army Research Office.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Army Research Office (ARO)DAAD19-03-D-0004
Subject Keywords:Drosophila, insect, free flight, odor, olfaction, search, chemotaxis, anemotaxis, flight control
Issue or Number:15
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:BUDjeb06
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12642
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:16 Dec 2008 18:56
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 00:30

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