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Citation
Wernet, M.F., Velez, M.M., Clark, D.A., Baumann-Klausener, F., Brown, J.R., Klovstad, M., Labhart, T., Clandinin, T.R. (2012). Genetic dissection reveals two separate retinal substrates for polarization vision in Drosophila.  Curr. Biol. 22(1): 12--20.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0217218
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Linearly polarized light originates from atmospheric scattering or surface reflections and is perceived by insects, spiders, cephalopods, crustaceans, and some vertebrates. Thus, the neural basis underlying how this fundamental quality of light is detected is of broad interest. Morphologically unique, polarization-sensitive ommatidia exist in the dorsal periphery of many insect retinas, forming the dorsal rim area (DRA). However, much less is known about the retinal substrates of behavioral responses to polarized reflections.Drosophila exhibits polarotactic behavior, spontaneously aligning with the e-vector of linearly polarized light, when stimuli are presented either dorsally or ventrally. By combining behavioral experiments with genetic dissection and ultrastructural analyses, we show that distinct photoreceptors mediate the two behaviors: inner photoreceptors R7+R8 of DRA ommatidia are necessary and sufficient for dorsal polarotaxis, whereas ventral responses are mediated by combinations of outer and inner photoreceptors, both of which manifest previously unknown features that render them polarization sensitive.Drosophila uses separate retinal pathways for the detection of linearly polarized light emanating from the sky or from shiny surfaces. This work establishes a behavioral paradigm that will enable genetic dissection of the circuits underlying polarization vision.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC3258365 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
Related Publication(s)
Note

Polarization vision: Drosophila enters the arena.
Hardie, 2012, Curr. Biol. 22(1): R12--R14 [FBrf0217228]

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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Curr. Biol.
    Title
    Current Biology
    Publication Year
    1991-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0960-9822
    Data From Reference
    Alleles (12)
    Genes (10)
    Natural transposons (1)
    Insertions (1)
    Experimental Tools (2)
    Transgenic Constructs (10)