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Title: Modulators of auditory responses in Drosophila : from the ear to behaviour via the clock?
Author: Kashkenbayeva, Assel
ISNI:       0000 0004 9352 4427
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Mechanoelectrical transduction (MET) is the crucial process underlying hearing. Drosophila melanogaster perform elaborate courtship rituals in which the male engages in the production of auditory courtship signals by vibrating his wings (Spieth, 1974). Playback of these sounds results in observable changes in locomotor activity in both male and female flies (von Schilcher, 1976; Yoon, Matsuo, Yamada, Mizuno, & Morimoto, 2013). Overall, Drosophila demonstrate robust activity patterns (Tataroglu & Emery, 2014). This behavioural rhythmicity is regulated by the circadian clock (Helfrich-Förster, 2001). To probe whether auditory-induced locomotor behaviour is also under clock control, here I present a novel behavioural assay to study the intersection between these two systems. I begin by quantifying this method and subsequently uncover several factors which regulate auditory-induced locomotor activity. Light exposure and the ‘naturalness’ of the stimulus were identified as key modulators. Additionally, I find that the behavioural response to sound stimuli does indeed does show periodic changes over a 24-h cycle. These oscillations showed a unique rhythm in comparison to the periodicity of non-sound-induced locomotor activity and were abolished in clock- disrupted conditions; suggesting that auditory-induced locomotor activity is also regulated by the circadian clock. Functional imaging using GCaMP reporters was performed in different subsets of Johnston’s Organ (JO) neurons to probe whether the key regulators of sound- induced behaviour directly modulate the function of the auditory neurons. Calcium responses to sound stimuli were found to be modulated by both the naturalness of stimuli and the environmental light conditions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available