142 | Testing chronic odorant exposure and its role on attractiveness in Drosophila melanogaster

Cognition, Behavior, and Memory

Author: Nicolás Pírez | Email: npirez@fbmc.fcen.uba.ar

Matías Alemán , Fernando Federico Locatelli , Nicolás Pírez

1° Instituto de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Neurociencias; UBA-CONICET, Argentina
2° Departamento de Fisiología, Biología Molecular y Celular; Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales; Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina

Insects rely on the olfactory system, among other things to find food and mate. The olfactory cues that drive different behaviors are expected to have been determined by evolution and thus their neurobiological mechanisms are assumed to depend on hardwired circuits. However, it is well established that learning and memory have a large impact in tuning olfactory guided behaviors. The fly Drosophila melanogaster is one of the models in which the link between olfactory circuits and behavior is best understood. In order to unveil the neural bases of odor guided behavior, big efforts are made to identify attractive, aversive and neutral odors. The main goal of this project is to unveil the effect that exposure to olfactory stimuli during the larval development has on the olfactory preference in adulthood. Flies were reared in either aversive or appetitive odors and 5 to 7 days after hatching we evaluated their preference for each odorant. We used a method that allows us to measure innate and acquired odor attractiveness. Changes in the innate valence of the odors were analyzed by comparing treated flies with the corresponding controls. Our results show that the environment where the animals are reared modulates the behavioral response during adulthood. These results provide a novel paradigm to study olfactory memories that resist metamorphosis.