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178 Janelia Publications

Showing 71-80 of 178 results
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    07/11/19 | Multi-color single molecule imaging uncovers extensive heterogeneity in mRNA decoding.
    Boersma S, Khuperkar D, Verhagen BM, Sonneveld S, Grimm JB, Lavis LD, Tanenbaum ME
    Cell. 2019 Jul 11;178(2):458-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.05.001

    mRNA translation is a key step in decoding genetic information. Genetic decoding is surprisingly heterogeneous, as multiple distinct polypeptides can be synthesized from a single mRNA sequence. To study translational heterogeneity, we developed the MoonTag, a new fluorescence labeling system to visualize translation of single mRNAs. When combined with the orthogonal SunTag system, the MoonTag enables dual readouts of translation, greatly expanding the possibilities to interrogate complex translational heterogeneity. By placing MoonTag and SunTag sequences in different translation reading frames, each driven by distinct translation start sites, start site selection of individual ribosomes can be visualized in real-time. We find that start site selection is largely stochastic, but that the probability of using a particular start site differs among mRNA molecules, and can be dynamically regulated over time. Together, this study provides key insights into translation start site selection heterogeneity, and provides a powerful toolbox to visualize complex translation dynamics.

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    07/08/19 | Changes throughout a genetic network mask the contribution of Hox gene evolution.
    Liu Y, Ramos-Womack M, Han C, Reilly P, Brackett KL, Rogers W, Williams TM, Andolfatto P, Stern DL, Rebeiz M
    Current Biology. 2019 Jul 08;29(13):2157-66. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.05.074

    Hox genes pattern the anterior-posterior axis of animals and are posited to drive animal body plan evolution, yet their precise role in evolution has been difficult to determine. Here, we identified evolutionary modifications in the Hox gene Abd-Bthat dramatically altered its expression along the body plan of Drosophila santomeaAbd-B is required for pigmentation in Drosophila yakuba, the sister species of D. santomea, and changes to Abd-B expression would be predicted to make large contributions to the loss of body pigmentation in D. santomea. However, manipulating Abd-B expression in current-day D. santomea does not affect pigmentation. We attribute this epistatic interaction to four other genes within the D. santomea pigmentation network, three of which have evolved expression patterns that do not respond to Abd-B. Our results demonstrate how body plans may evolve through small evolutionary steps distributed throughout Hox-regulated networks. Polygenicity and epistasis may hinder efforts to identify genes and mechanisms underlying macroevolutionary traits.

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    07/06/19 | Cellular level analysis of the locomotor neural circuits in Drosophila melanogaster.
    minegishi r, Feng K, Dickson B
    Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems. 2019 Jul 6:334-7
    07/02/19 | Local synaptic inputs support opposing, network-specific odor representations in a widely projecting modulatory neuron.
    Zhang X, Coates K, Dacks AM, Gunay C, Lauritzen JS, Li F, Calle-Schuler SA, Bock D, Gaudry Q
    eLife. 2 Jul 2019;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.46839

    Serotonin plays different roles across networks within the same sensory modality. Previously, we used whole-cell electrophysiology in Drosophila to show that serotonergic neurons innervating the first olfactory relay are inhibited by odorants (Zhang and Gaudry, 2016). Here we show that network-spanning serotonergic neurons segregate information about stimulus features, odor intensity and identity, by using opposing coding schemes in different olfactory neuropil. A pair of serotonergic neurons (the CSDns) innervate the antennal lobe and lateral horn, which are first and second order neuropils. CSDn processes in the antennal lobe are inhibited by odors in an identity independent manner. In the lateral horn, CSDn processes are excited in an odor identity dependent manner. Using functional imaging, modeling, and EM reconstruction, we demonstrate that antennal lobe derived inhibition arises from local GABAergic inputs and acts as a means of gain control on branch specific inputs that the CSDns receive within the lateral horn.

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    07/01/19 | Augmin accumulation on long-lived microtubules drives amplification and kinetochore-directed growth.
    David AF, Roudot P, Legant WR, Betzig E, Danuser G, Gerlich DW
    Journal of Cell Biology. 2019 Jul 01;218(7):2150-68. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201805044

    Dividing cells reorganize their microtubule cytoskeleton into a bipolar spindle, which moves one set of sister chromatids to each nascent daughter cell. Early spindle assembly models postulated that spindle pole-derived microtubules search the cytoplasmic space until they randomly encounter a kinetochore to form a stable attachment. More recent work uncovered several additional, centrosome-independent microtubule generation pathways, but the contributions of each pathway to spindle assembly have remained unclear. Here, we combined live microscopy and mathematical modeling to show that most microtubules nucleate at noncentrosomal regions in dividing human cells. Using a live-cell probe that selectively labels aged microtubule lattices, we demonstrate that the distribution of growing microtubule plus ends can be almost entirely explained by Augmin-dependent amplification of long-lived microtubule lattices. By ultrafast 3D lattice light-sheet microscopy, we observed that this mechanism results in a strong directional bias of microtubule growth toward individual kinetochores. Our systematic quantification of spindle dynamics reveals highly coordinated microtubule growth during kinetochore fiber assembly.

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    07/01/19 | Direct wavefront sensing enables functional imaging of infragranular axons and spines.
    Liu R, Li Z, Marvin JS, Kleinfeld D
    Nature Methods. 2019 Jul;16(7):615-618. doi: 10.1038/s41592-019-0434-7

    We advance two-photon microscopy for near-diffraction-limited imaging up to 850 µm below the pia in awake mice. Our approach combines direct wavefront sensing of light from a guidestar (formed by descanned fluorescence from Cy5.5-conjugated dextran in brain microvessels) with adaptive optics to compensate for tissue-induced aberrations in the wavefront. We achieve high signal-to-noise ratios in recordings of glutamate release from thalamocortical axons and calcium transients in spines of layer 5b basal dendrites during active tactile sensing.

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    07/01/19 | Effective dimensionality reduction for visualizing neural dynamics by laplacian eigenmaps.
    Sun G, Zhang S, Zhang Y, Xu K, Zhang Q, Zhao T, Zheng X
    Neural Computation. 2019 Jul;31(7):1356-1379. doi: 10.1162/neco_a_01203

    With the development of neural recording technology, it has become possible to collect activities from hundreds or even thousands of neurons simultaneously. Visualization of neural population dynamics can help neuroscientists analyze large-scale neural activities efficiently. In this letter, Laplacian eigenmaps is applied to this task for the first time, and the experimental results show that the proposed method significantly outperforms the commonly used methods. This finding was confirmed by the systematic evaluation using nonhuman primate data, which contained the complex dynamics well suited for testing. According to our results, Laplacian eigenmaps is better than the other methods in various ways and can clearly visualize interesting biological phenomena related to neural dynamics.

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    07/01/19 | Large scale image segmentation with structured loss based deep learning for connectome reconstruction.
    Funke J, Tschopp FD, Grisaitis W, Sheridan A, Singh C, Saalfeld S, Turaga SC
    IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. 2019 Jul 1;41(7):1669-80. doi: 10.1109/TPAMI.2018.2835450

    We present a method combining affinity prediction with region agglomeration, which improves significantly upon the state of the art of neuron segmentation from electron microscopy (EM) in accuracy and scalability. Our method consists of a 3D U-net, trained to predict affinities between voxels, followed by iterative region agglomeration. We train using a structured loss based on MALIS, encouraging topologically correct segmentations obtained from affinity thresholding. Our extension consists of two parts: First, we present a quasi-linear method to compute the loss gradient, improving over the original quadratic algorithm. Second, we compute the gradient in two separate passes to avoid spurious gradient contributions in early training stages. Our predictions are accurate enough that simple learning-free percentile-based agglomeration outperforms more involved methods used earlier on inferior predictions. We present results on three diverse EM datasets, achieving relative improvements over previous results of 27%, 15%, and 250%. Our findings suggest that a single method can be applied to both nearly isotropic block-face EM data and anisotropic serial sectioned EM data. The runtime of our method scales linearly with the size of the volume and achieves a throughput of ~2.6 seconds per megavoxel, qualifying our method for the processing of very large datasets.

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    07/01/19 | State-dependent decoupling of sensory and motor circuits underlies behavioral flexibility in Drosophila.
    Ache JM, Namiki S, Lee A, Branson K, Card GM
    Nature Neuroscience. 2019 Jul 01;22(7):1132-1139. doi: 10.1038/s41593-019-0413-4

    An approaching predator and self-motion toward an object can generate similar looming patterns on the retina, but these situations demand different rapid responses. How central circuits flexibly process visual cues to activate appropriate, fast motor pathways remains unclear. Here we identify two descending neuron (DN) types that control landing and contribute to visuomotor flexibility in Drosophila. For each, silencing impairs visually evoked landing, activation drives landing, and spike rate determines leg extension amplitude. Critically, visual responses of both DNs are severely attenuated during non-flight periods, effectively decoupling visual stimuli from the landing motor pathway when landing is inappropriate. The flight-dependence mechanism differs between DN types. Octopamine exposure mimics flight effects in one, whereas the other probably receives neuronal feedback from flight motor circuits. Thus, this sensorimotor flexibility arises from distinct mechanisms for gating action-specific descending pathways, such that sensory and motor networks are coupled or decoupled according to the behavioral state.

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    06/27/19 | Glia accumulate evidence that actions are futile and suppress unsuccessful behavior.
    Mu Y, Bennett DV, Rubinov M, Narayan S, Yang C, Tanimoto M, Mensh BD, Looger LL, Ahrens MB
    Cell. 2019 Jun 27;178(1):27-43. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.05.050

    When a behavior repeatedly fails to achieve its goal, animals often give up and become passive, which can be strategic for preserving energy or regrouping between attempts. It is unknown how the brain identifies behavioral failures and mediates this behavioral-state switch. In larval zebrafish swimming in virtual reality, visual feedback can be withheld so that swim attempts fail to trigger expected visual flow. After tens of seconds of such motor futility, animals became passive for similar durations. Whole-brain calcium imaging revealed noradrenergic neurons that responded specifically to failed swim attempts and radial astrocytes whose calcium levels accumulated with increasing numbers of failed attempts. Using cell ablation and optogenetic or chemogenetic activation, we found that noradrenergic neurons progressively activated brainstem radial astrocytes, which then suppressed swimming. Thus, radial astrocytes perform a computation critical for behavior: they accumulate evidence that current actions are ineffective and consequently drive changes in behavioral states.

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