Navigational Decision Making in Drosophila Thermotaxis

DSpace/Manakin Repository

Navigational Decision Making in Drosophila Thermotaxis

Citable link to this page


Title: Navigational Decision Making in Drosophila Thermotaxis
Author: Luo, Linjiao; Gershow, Marc Herman; Rosenzweig, Mark; Kang, Kyeonglin; Fang-Yen, Christopher M.; Garrity, Paul A,; Samuel, Aravinthan DT

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

Citation: Luo, Linjiao, Marc Gershow, Mark Rosenzweig, KyeongJin Kang, Christopher Fang-Yen, Paul A. Garrity, and Aravinthan D. T. Samuel. 2010. Navigational decision making in Drosophila thermotaxis. Journal of Neuroscience 30(12): 4261-4272.
Full Text & Related Files:
Abstract: A mechanistic understanding of animal navigation requires quantitative assessment of the sensorimotor strategies used during navigation and quantitative assessment of how these strategies are regulated by cellular sensors. Here, we examine thermotactic behavior of the Drosophila melanogaster larva using a tracking microscope to study individual larval movements on defined temperature gradients. We discover that larval thermotaxis involves a larger repertoire of strategies than navigation in smaller organisms such as motile bacteria and Caenorhabditis elegans. Beyond regulating run length (i.e., biasing a random walk), the Drosophila melanogaster larva also regulates the size and direction of turns to achieve and maintain favorable orientations. Thus, the sharp turns in a larva’s trajectory represent decision points for selecting new directions of forward movement. The larva uses the same strategies to move up temperature gradients during positive thermotaxis and to move down temperature gradients during negative thermotaxis. Disrupting positive thermotaxis by inactivating cold-sensitive neurons in the larva’s terminal organ weakens all regulation of turning decisions, suggesting that information from one set of temperature sensors is used to regulate all aspects of turning decisions. The Drosophila melanogaster larva performs thermotaxis by biasing stochastic turning decisions on the basis of temporal variations in thermosensory input, thereby augmenting the likelihood of heading toward favorable temperatures at all times.
Published Version: doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4090-09.2010
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at
Citable link to this page:
Downloads of this work:

Show full Dublin Core record

This item appears in the following Collection(s)


Search DASH

Advanced Search