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Title: Habituation of the proboscis extension reflex in Drosophila
Author: Hayward, C. J. C.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2000
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This study aimed to build on previous observations by identifying neurons involved in the proboscis extension reflex (PER), regions of the brain involved in habituation of this reflex, and molecules involved in the habituation process. The study consisted of four main areas: 1. Identification of neurons involved in the Proboscis Extension Reflex 2. Development of the Proboscis Extension Habituation Assay; 3. identification of regions of the Drosophila CNS involved in habituation; 4. Testing learning and memory mutants for defects in habituation. To determine whether the molecules involved in habituation are the same as those required for associative learning, I tested the mutant linotte for habituation. linotte1 flies showed a severe disruption of habitation. linotte1 is a PlacW insert that lies between two genes, pigeon and derailed. It is not clear which of these two genes is responsible for linotte learning phenotype. To determine which gene was responsible for the linotte habituation phenotype, I tested flies containing a derailed transgene (that excludes pigeon) and showed that the habituation phenotype could be completely rescued by this construct. In summary, this study added to the evidence that TeTxLC is a useful tool for studying behaviour in Drosophila. This work also strongly implicates the central complex, particularly the fan-shaped body, as playing a major role in the habituation process of the PER.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available