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84 Janelia Publications

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    09/03/20 | A connectome of the adult drosophila central brain.
    Xu CS, Januszewski M, Lu Z, Takemura S, Hayworth KJ, Huang G, Shinomiya K, Maitin-Shepard J, Ackerman D, Berg S, Blakely T, Bogovic J, Clements J, Dolafi T, Hubbard P, Kainmueller D, Katz W, Kawase T, Khairy KA, Leavitt L, Li PH, Lindsey L, Neubarth N, Olbris DJ, Otsuna H, Troutman ET, Umayam L, Zhao T, Ito M, Goldammer J, Wolff T, Svirskas R, Schlegel P, Neace ER, Knecht CJ, Alvarado CX, Bailey DA, Ballinger S, Borycz JA, Canino BS
    eLife. 2020 Sep 03:. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.01.21.911859

    The neural circuits responsible for behavior remain largely unknown. Previous efforts have reconstructed the complete circuits of small animals, with hundreds of neurons, and selected circuits for larger animals. Here we (the FlyEM project at Janelia and collaborators at Google) summarize new methods and present the complete circuitry of a large fraction of the brain of a much more complex animal, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. Improved methods include new procedures to prepare, image, align, segment, find synapses, and proofread such large data sets; new methods that define cell types based on connectivity in addition to morphology; and new methods to simplify access to a large and evolving data set. From the resulting data we derive a better definition of computational compartments and their connections; an exhaustive atlas of cell examples and types, many of them novel; detailed circuits for most of the central brain; and exploration of the statistics and structure of different brain compartments, and the brain as a whole. We make the data public, with a web site and resources specifically designed to make it easy to explore, for all levels of expertise from the expert to the merely curious. The public availability of these data, and the simplified means to access it, dramatically reduces the effort needed to answer typical circuit questions, such as the identity of upstream and downstream neural partners, the circuitry of brain regions, and to link the neurons defined by our analysis with genetic reagents that can be used to study their functions.

    Note: In the next few weeks, we will release a series of papers with more involved discussions. One paper will detail the hemibrain reconstruction with more extensive analysis and interpretation made possible by this dense connectome. Another paper will explore the central complex, a brain region involved in navigation, motor control, and sleep. A final paper will present insights from the mushroom body, a center of multimodal associative learning in the fly brain.

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    09/01/20 | The neuroanatomical ultrastructure and function of a biological ring attractor.
    Turner-Evans DB, Jensen KT, Ali S, Paterson T, Sheridan A, Ray RP, Wolff T, Lauritzen JS, Rubin GM, Bock DD, Jayaraman V
    Neuron. 2020 Sep 01:. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.08.006

    Neural representations of head direction (HD) have been discovered in many species. Theoretical work has proposed that the dynamics associated with these representations are generated, maintained, and updated by recurrent network structures called ring attractors. We evaluated this theorized structure-function relationship by performing electron-microscopy-based circuit reconstruction and RNA profiling of identified cell types in the HD system of Drosophila melanogaster. We identified motifs that have been hypothesized to maintain the HD representation in darkness, update it when the animal turns, and tether it to visual cues. Functional studies provided support for the proposed roles of individual excitatory or inhibitory circuit elements in shaping activity. We also discovered recurrent connections between neuronal arbors with mixed pre- and postsynaptic specializations. Our results confirm that the Drosophila HD network contains the core components of a ring attractor while also revealing unpredicted structural features that might enhance the network's computational power.

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    08/17/20 | Complete connectomic reconstruction of olfactory projection neurons in the fly brain.
    Bates AS, Schlegel P, Roberts RJ, Drummond N, Tamimi IF, Turnbull R, Zhao X, Marin EC, Popovici PD, Dhawan S, Jamasb A, Javier A, Serratosa Capdevila L, Li F, Rubin GM, Waddell S, Bock DD, Costa M, Jefferis GS
    Current Biology. 2020 Aug 17;30(16):3183-99. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2020.06.042

    Nervous systems contain sensory neurons, local neurons, projection neurons, and motor neurons. To understand how these building blocks form whole circuits, we must distil these broad classes into neuronal cell types and describe their network connectivity. Using an electron micrograph dataset for an entire Drosophila melanogaster brain, we reconstruct the first complete inventory of olfactory projections connecting the antennal lobe, the insect analog of the mammalian olfactory bulb, to higher-order brain regions in an adult animal brain. We then connect this inventory to extant data in the literature, providing synaptic-resolution "holotypes" both for heavily investigated and previously unknown cell types. Projection neurons are approximately twice as numerous as reported by light level studies; cell types are stereotyped, but not identical, in cell and synapse numbers between brain hemispheres. The lateral horn, the insect analog of the mammalian cortical amygdala, is the main target for this olfactory information and has been shown to guide innate behavior. Here, we find new connectivity motifs, including axo-axonic connectivity between projection neurons, feedback, and lateral inhibition of these axons by a large population of neurons, and the convergence of different inputs, including non-olfactory inputs and memory-related feedback onto third-order olfactory neurons. These features are less prominent in the mushroom body calyx, the insect analog of the mammalian piriform cortex and a center for associative memory. Our work provides a complete neuroanatomical platform for future studies of the adult Drosophila olfactory system.

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    08/17/20 | Input connectivity reveals additional heterogeneity of dopaminergic reinforcement in Drosophila
    Otto N, Pleijzier MW, Morgan IC, Edmondson-Stait AJ, Heinz KJ, Stark I, Dempsey G, Ito M, Kapoor I, Hsu J, Schlegel PM, Bates AS, Costa M, Ito K, Bock DD, Rubin GM, Jefferis GS, Waddell S
    Current Biology. 2020 Aug 17;30(16):3200-11

    Different types of Drosophila dopaminergic neurons (DANs) reinforce memories of unique valence and provide state-dependent motivational control [1]. Prior studies suggest that the compartment architecture of the mushroom body (MB) is the relevant resolution for distinct DAN functions [23]. Here we used a recent electron microscope volume of the fly brain [4] to reconstruct the fine anatomy of individual DANs within three MB compartments. We find the 20 DANs of the γ5 compartment, at least some of which provide reward teaching signals, can be clustered into 5 anatomical subtypes that innervate different regions within γ5. Reconstructing 821 upstream neurons reveals input selectivity, supporting the functional relevance of DAN sub-classification. Only one PAM-γ5 DAN subtype (γ5fb) receives direct recurrent input from γ5β’2a mushroom body output neurons (MBONs) and behavioral experiments distinguish a role for these DANs in memory revaluation from those reinforcing sugar memory. Other DAN subtypes receive major, and potentially reinforcing, inputs from putative gustatory interneurons or lateral horn neurons, which can also relay indirect feedback from the MB. We similarly reconstructed the single aversively reinforcing PPL1-γ1pedc DAN. The γ1pedc DAN inputs are mostly different to those of γ5 DANs and are clustered onto distinct branches of its dendritic tree, presumably separating its established roles in aversive reinforcement and appetitive motivation [56]. Additional tracing identified neurons that provide broad input to γ5, β’2a and γ1pedc DANs suggesting that distributed DAN populations can be coordinately regulated. These connectomic and behavioral analyses therefore reveal additional complexity of dopaminergic reinforcement circuits between and within MB compartments.

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    03/01/20 | Toward nanoscale localization of memory engrams in Drosophila.
    Aso Y, Rubin GM
    Journal of Neurogenetics. 2020 Mar 01;34(1):151-55. doi: 10.1080/01677063.2020.1715973

    The Mushroom Body (MB) is the primary location of stored associative memories in the Drosophila brain. We discuss recent advances in understanding the MB's neuronal circuits made using advanced light microscopic methods and cell-type-specific genetic tools. We also review how the compartmentalized nature of the MB's organization allows this brain area to form and store memories with widely different dynamics.

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    01/15/20 | A genetic, genomic, and computational resource for exploring neural circuit function.
    Davis FP, Nern A, Picard S, Reiser MB, Rubin GM, Eddy SR, Henry GL
    eLife. 2020 Jan 15;9:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.50901

    The anatomy of many neural circuits is being characterized with increasing resolution, but their molecular properties remain mostly unknown. Here, we characterize gene expression patterns in distinct neural cell types of the visual system using genetic lines to access individual cell types, the TAPIN-seq method to measure their transcriptomes, and a probabilistic method to interpret these measurements. We used these tools to build a resource of high-resolution transcriptomes for 100 driver lines covering 67 cell types, available at http://www.opticlobe.com. Combining these transcriptomes with recently reported connectomes helps characterize how information is transmitted and processed across a range of scales, from individual synapses to circuit pathways. We describe examples that include identifying neurotransmitters, including cases of apparent co-release, generating functional hypotheses based on receptor expression, as well as identifying strong commonalities between different cell types.

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    11/14/19 | Nitric oxide acts as a cotransmitter in a subset of dopaminergic neurons to diversify memory dynamics.
    Aso Y, Ray RP, Long X, Bushey D, Cichewicz K, Ngo T, Sharp B, Christoforou C, Hu A, Lemire AL, Tillberg P, Hirsh J, Litwin-Kumar A, Rubin GM
    eLife. 2019 Nov 14;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.49257

    Animals employ diverse learning rules and synaptic plasticity dynamics to record temporal and statistical information about the world. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this diversity are poorly understood. The anatomically defined compartments of the insect mushroom body function as parallel units of associative learning, with different learning rates, memory decay dynamics and flexibility (Aso & Rubin 2016). Here we show that nitric oxide (NO) acts as a neurotransmitter in a subset of dopaminergic neurons in . NO's effects develop more slowly than those of dopamine and depend on soluble guanylate cyclase in postsynaptic Kenyon cells. NO acts antagonistically to dopamine; it shortens memory retention and facilitates the rapid updating of memories. The interplay of NO and dopamine enables memories stored in local domains along Kenyon cell axons to be specialized for predicting the value of odors based only on recent events. Our results provide key mechanistic insights into how diverse memory dynamics are established in parallel memory systems.

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    05/21/19 | Neurogenetic dissection of the lateral horn reveals major outputs, diverse behavioural functions, and interactions with the mushroom body.
    Dolan M, Frechter S, Bates AS, Dan C, Huoviala P, Roberts RJ, Schlegel P, Dhawan S, Tabano R, Dionne H, Christoforou C, Close K, Sutcliffe B, Giuliani B, Li F, Costa M, Ihrke G, Meissner GW, Bock DD, Aso Y, Rubin GM, Jefferis GS
    Elife. 2019 May 21;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.43079

    Animals exhibit innate behaviours to a variety of sensory stimuli including olfactory cues. In , one higher olfactory centre, the lateral horn (LH), is implicated in innate behaviour. However, our structural and functional understanding of the LH is scant, in large part due to a lack of sparse neurogenetic tools for this region. We generate a collection of split-GAL4 driver lines providing genetic access to 82 LH cell types. We use these to create an anatomical and neurotransmitter map of the LH and link this to EM connectomics data. We find ~30% of LH projections converge with outputs from the mushroom body, site of olfactory learning and memory. Using optogenetic activation, we identify LH cell types that drive changes in valence behavior or specific locomotor programs. In summary, we have generated a resource for manipulating and mapping LH neurons, providing new insights into the circuit basis of innate and learned olfactory behavior.

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    02/07/19 | Looking back and looking forward at Janelia.
    Rubin GM, O'Shea EK
    eLife. 2019 Feb07;8:e44826. doi: 10.7554/eLife.44826

    Starting a new research campus is a leap of faith. Only later, in the full measure of time, is it possible to take stock of what has worked and what could have been done better or differently. The Janelia Research Campus opened its doors 12 years ago. What has it achieved? What has it taught us? And where does Janelia go from here?

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    01/18/19 | Cortical column and whole-brain imaging with molecular contrast and nanoscale resolution.
    Gao R, Asano SM, Upadhyayula S, Pisarev I, Milkie DE, Liu T, Singh V, Graves AR, Huynh GH, Zhao Y, Bogovic JA, Colonell J, Ott CM, Zugates CT, Tappan S, Rodriguez A, Mosaliganti KR, Sheu S, Pasolli HA, et al
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 2019 Jan 18;363(6424):eaau8302. doi: 10.1126/science.aau8302

    Optical and electron microscopy have made tremendous inroads toward understanding the complexity of the brain. However, optical microscopy offers insufficient resolution to reveal subcellular details, and electron microscopy lacks the throughput and molecular contrast to visualize specific molecular constituents over millimeter-scale or larger dimensions. We combined expansion microscopy and lattice light-sheet microscopy to image the nanoscale spatial relationships between proteins across the thickness of the mouse cortex or the entire Drosophila brain. These included synaptic proteins at dendritic spines, myelination along axons, and presynaptic densities at dopaminergic neurons in every fly brain region. The technology should enable statistically rich, large-scale studies of neural development, sexual dimorphism, degree of stereotypy, and structural correlations to behavior or neural activity, all with molecular contrast.

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