FLiACT is a European training network interconnecting 8 academic partners and 3 small companies (SMEs) from 9 countries, specialised in complementary fields of research; from molecular and behavioural neurogenetics to electrophysiology, bioengineering and applied biology.
Project 2: Molecular basis of sensory memories.
Goal: Clarifying the role of the ribosomal S6KII-kinase ignorant for learning and memory.
Supervisor: Roland Strauss - University Mainz; Germany
Methodology: The gene ignorant (ign) encodes a ribosomal S6KII-kinase. ign mutant flies are defective in operant conditioning and classical olfactory conditioning in the Tully-Quinn paradigm. ign is also required to memorize the direction of a previously chosen target that became invisible during approach. Even after a detour to an alternative object, flies can return to the still hidden initial target object when ign is present just in two substructures (R3 and R4d ring neurons) of the ellipsoid body. The fellow will test ign mutants for motor learning and for orientation behaviour in gradients of humidity and temperature. She/he will examine the function of ign in short-term and long-term memories at the larval stage. She/he will identify molecules that interact with ign in collaboration with Hassan (VIB). She/he will also visit Armstrong (Brainwave) to test a large number of genes potentially interacting with ign as well as GAL4-lines that potentially affect upstream and downstream neuronal partners of the ellipsoid body ring neurons.
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