Department of Neurobiology; Tzumin Lee Lab
First Thesis Advisor
Olfactory Pathways, Neurons, Neuroglia, Mushroom Bodies, Drosophila, Cell Lineage
Different neurons and glial cells in the Drosophila olfactory circuitry have distinct functions in olfaction. The mechanisms to generate most of diverse neurons and glial cells in the olfactory circuitry remain unclear due to the incomprehensive study of cell lineages. To facilitate the analyses of cell lineages and neural diversity, two independent binary transcription systems were introduced into Drosophila to drive two different transgenes in different cells. A technique called ‘dual-expression-control MARCM’ (mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker) was created by incorporating a GAL80-suppresible transcription factor LexA::GAD (GAL4 activation domain) into the MARCM. This technique allows the induction of UAS- and lexAop- transgenes in different patterns among the GAL80-minus cells. Dual-expression-control MARCM with a ubiquitous driver tubP-LexA::GAD and various subtype-specific GAL4s which express in antennal lobe neurons (ALNs) allowed us to characterize diverse ALNs and their lineage relationships. Genetic studies showed that ALN cell fates are determined by spatial identities rooted in their precursor cells and temporal identities based on their birth timings within the lineage, and then finalized through cell-cell interactions mediated by Notch signaling. Glial cell lineage analyses by MARCM and dual-expression-control MARCM show that diverse post-embryonic born glial cells are lineage specified and independent of neuronal lineage. Specified glial lineages expand their glial population by symmetrical division and do not further diversify glial cells. Construction of a GAL4-insensitive transcription factor LexA::VP16 (VP16 acidic activation domain) allows the independent induction of lexAop transgenes in the entire mushroom body (MB) and labeling of individual MB neurons by MARCM in the same organism. A computer algorithm is developed to perform morphometric analysis to assist the study of MB neuron diversity.
Lai, S. Neural Diversity in the Drosophila Olfactory Circuitry: A Dissertation. (2007). University of Massachusetts Medical School. GSBS Dissertations and Theses. Paper 340. DOI: 10.13028/0tc8-tg27. https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/gsbs_diss/340
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