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Published September 23, 2020 | public
Journal Article Open

A Systematic Nomenclature for the Drosophila Ventral Nerve Cord


Drosophila melanogaster is an established model for neuroscience research with relevance in biology and medicine. Until recently, research on the Drosophila brain was hindered by the lack of a complete and uniform nomenclature. Recognizing this, Ito et al. (2014) produced an authoritative nomenclature for the adult insect brain, using Drosophila as the reference. Here, we extend this nomenclature to the adult thoracic and abdominal neuromeres, the ventral nerve cord (VNC), to provide an anatomical description of this major component of the Drosophila nervous system. The VNC is the locus for the reception and integration of sensory information and involved in generating most of the locomotor actions that underlie fly behaviors. The aim is to create a nomenclature, definitions, and spatial boundaries for the Drosophila VNC that are consistent with other insects. The work establishes an anatomical framework that provides a powerful tool for analyzing the functional organization of the VNC.

Additional Information

© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Under a Creative Commons license - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Received 13 February 2020, Revised 30 June 2020, Accepted 5 August 2020, Available online 14 September 2020. We thank Gerald M. Rubin, Janine Stevens, the Visiting Science and Conference Programs of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus for hosting the workshop. This work was initially conceived of as part of the Descending Interneuron Project Team at Janelia. This work was also supported, in part, by grants EP/F500385/1 and BB/F529254/1 for the University of Edinburgh School of Informatics Doctoral Training Centre in Neuroinformatics and Computational Neuroscience (http://www.anc.ed.ac.uk/dtc) from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the UK Medical Research Council (MRC). Finally, by the Wellcome Trust as part of the "Virtual Fly Brain: a global informatics hub for Drosophila neurobiology" WT105023MA. Author Contributions. Conceptualization, W.K., J.W.T., and D.S.; Software, R.C.; Validation, All; Resources, D.S., R.C., and J.B.; Data Curation, R.C., M.C., and J.D.A; Writing—Original Draft, D.S. and R.C.; Writing—Review & Editing, M.C., M.D., R.K.M., A.M.S., J.H.S., T.S., J.C.T., J.W.T., and D.W.W.; Visualization, D.S. and R.C.; Funding Acquisition, All. Resource Availability. Lead Contact: Further information and requests for data and resources should be directed to and will be fulfilled by the Lead Contact, David Shepherd (d.shepherd@bangor.ac.uk). Materials Availability. This study did not generate any new reagents. Data and Code Availability. All anatomical datasets and segmented domains have been deposited at Virtual Fly Brain (https://github.com/VirtualFlyBrain/DrosAdultVNSdomains/tree/master/Court2017/template) and are openly available. The authors declare no competing interests.

Attached Files

Published - 1-s2.0-S0896627320306127-main.pdf

Supplemental Material - 1-s2.0-S0896627320306127-mmc1.pdf


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August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023