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2449 Janelia Publications

Showing 2321-2330 of 2449 results
Baker Lab
01/01/10 | Midline crossing by gustatory receptor neuron axons is regulated by fruitless, doublesex and the roundabout receptors.
Mellert DJ, Knapp J, Manoli DS, Meissner GW, Baker BS
Development. 2010 Jan;137(2):323-32. doi: 10.1242/dev.045047

Although nervous system sexual dimorphisms are known in many species, relatively little is understood about the molecular mechanisms generating these dimorphisms. Recent findings in Drosophila provide the tools for dissecting how neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation are modulated by the Drosophila sex-determination regulatory genes to produce nervous system sexual dimorphisms. Here we report studies aimed at illuminating the basis of the sexual dimorphic axonal projection patterns of foreleg gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs): only in males do GRN axons project across the midline of the ventral nerve cord. We show that the sex determination genes fruitless (fru) and doublesex (dsx) both contribute to establishing this sexual dimorphism. Male-specific Fru (Fru(M)) acts in foreleg GRNs to promote midline crossing by their axons, whereas midline crossing is repressed in females by female-specific Dsx (Dsx(F)). In addition, midline crossing by these neurons might be promoted in males by male-specific Dsx (Dsx(M)). Finally, we (1) demonstrate that the roundabout (robo) paralogs also regulate midline crossing by these neurons, and (2) provide evidence that Fru(M) exerts its effect on midline crossing by directly or indirectly regulating Robo signaling.

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Druckmann Lab
01/01/10 | Over-complete representations on recurrent neural networks can support persistent percepts.
Druckmann S, Chklovskii D
Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010). 2010;23:541-9

A striking aspect of cortical neural networks is the divergence of a relatively small number of input channels from the peripheral sensory apparatus into a large number of cortical neurons, an over-complete representation strategy. Cortical neurons are then connected by a sparse network of lateral synapses. Here we propose that such architecture may increase the persistence of the representation of an incoming stimulus, or a percept. We demonstrate that for a family of networks in which the receptive field of each neuron is re-expressed by its outgoing connections, a represented percept can remain constant despite changing activity. We term this choice of connectivity REceptive FIeld REcombination (REFIRE) networks. The sparse REFIRE network may serve as a high-dimensional integrator and a biologically plausible model of the local cortical circuit.

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01/01/10 | Quantum coherence in ion channels: resonances, transport and verification.
Vaziri A, Plenio MB
New Journal of Physics. 2010;12:. doi: 10.1088/1367-2630/12/8/085001

Recently it was demonstrated that long-lived quantum coherence exists during excitation energy transport in photosynthesis. It is a valid question up to which length, time and mass scales quantum coherence may extend, how one may detect this coherence and what, if any, role it plays in the dynamics of the system. Here we suggest that the selectivity filter of ion channels may exhibit quantum coherence, which might be relevant for the process of ion selectivity and conduction. We show that quantum resonances could provide an alternative approach to ultrafast two-dimensional (2D) spectroscopy to probe these quantum coherences. We demonstrate that the emergence of resonances in the conduction of ion channels that are modulated periodically by time-dependent external electric fields can serve as signatures of quantum coherence in such a system. Assessments of experimental feasibility and specific paths towards the experimental realization of such experiments are presented.

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01/01/10 | Role of Notch signaling in establishing the hemilineages of secondary neurons in Drosophila melanogaster.
Truman JW, Moats W, Altman J, Marin EC, Williams DW
Development. 2010 Jan;137(1):53-61. doi: 10.1242/dev.041749

The secondary neurons generated in the thoracic central nervous system of Drosophila arise from a hemisegmental set of 25 neuronal stem cells, the neuroblasts (NBs). Each NB undergoes repeated asymmetric divisions to produce a series of smaller ganglion mother cells (GMCs), which typically divide once to form two daughter neurons. We find that the two daughters of the GMC consistently have distinct fates. Using both loss-of-function and gain-of-function approaches, we examined the role of Notch signaling in establishing neuronal fates within all of the thoracic secondary lineages. In all cases, the ’A’ (Notch(ON)) sibling assumes one fate and the ’B’ (Notch(OFF)) sibling assumes another, and this relationship holds throughout the neurogenic period, resulting in two major neuronal classes: the A and B hemilineages. Apparent monotypic lineages typically result from the death of one sibling throughout the lineage, resulting in a single, surviving hemilineage. Projection neurons are predominantly from the B hemilineages, whereas local interneurons are typically from A hemilineages. Although sibling fate is dependent on Notch signaling, it is not necessarily dependent on numb, a gene classically involved in biasing Notch activation. When Numb was removed at the start of larval neurogenesis, both A and B hemilineages were still generated, but by the start of the third larval instar, the removal of Numb resulted in all neurons assuming the A fate. The need for Numb to direct Notch signaling correlated with a decrease in NB cell cycle time and may be a means for coping with multiple sibling pairs simultaneously undergoing fate decisions.

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01/01/10 | Scanning light-sheet microscopy in the whole mouse brain with HiLo background rejection.
Mertz J, Kim J
Journal of Biomedical Optics. 2010 Jan-Feb;15(1):016027. doi: 10.1117/1.3324890

It is well known that light-sheet illumination can enable optically sectioned wide-field imaging of macroscopic samples. However, the optical sectioning capacity of a light-sheet macroscope is undermined by sample-induced scattering or aberrations that broaden the thickness of the sheet illumination. We present a technique to enhance the optical sectioning capacity of a scanning light-sheet microscope by out-of-focus background rejection. The technique, called HiLo microscopy, makes use of two images sequentially acquired with uniform and structured sheet illumination. An optically sectioned image is then synthesized by fusing high and low spatial frequency information from both images. The benefits of combining light-sheet macroscopy and HiLo background rejection are demonstrated in optically cleared whole mouse brain samples, using both green fluorescent protein (GFP)-fluorescence and dark-field scattered light contrast.

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01/01/10 | Serial-section EM derived synaptic circuits in the fly’s visual system: the medulla opens up.
Meinertzhagen IA, Takemura S, Vitaladevuni S, Lu Z, Scheffer L, Chklovskii D
Journal of Neurogenetics. 2010;24:9
01/01/10 | Surprisingly simple mechanical behavior of a complex embryonic tissue.
von Dassow M, Strother JA, Davidson LA
PloS one. 2010;5(12):e15359. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015359

BACKGROUND: Previous studies suggest that mechanical feedback could coordinate morphogenetic events in embryos. Furthermore, embryonic tissues have complex structure and composition and undergo large deformations during morphogenesis. Hence we expect highly non-linear and loading-rate dependent tissue mechanical properties in embryos. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used micro-aspiration to test whether a simple linear viscoelastic model was sufficient to describe the mechanical behavior of gastrula stage Xenopus laevis embryonic tissue in vivo. We tested whether these embryonic tissues change their mechanical properties in response to mechanical stimuli but found no evidence of changes in the viscoelastic properties of the tissue in response to stress or stress application rate. We used this model to test hypotheses about the pattern of force generation during electrically induced tissue contractions. The dependence of contractions on suction pressure was most consistent with apical tension, and was inconsistent with isotropic contraction. Finally, stiffer clutches generated stronger contractions, suggesting that force generation and stiffness may be coupled in the embryo. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The mechanical behavior of a complex, active embryonic tissue can be surprisingly well described by a simple linear viscoelastic model with power law creep compliance, even at high deformations. We found no evidence of mechanical feedback in this system. Together these results show that very simple mechanical models can be useful in describing embryo mechanics.

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01/01/10 | Tetracycline-controlled transgene activation using the ROSA26-iM2-GFP knock-in mouse strain permits GFP monitoring of DOX-regulated transgene-expression.
Wörtge S, Eshkind L, Cabezas-Wallscheid N, Lakaye B, Kim J, Heck R, Abassi Y, Diken M, Sprengel R, Bockamp E
BMC Developmental Biology. 2010;10:95. doi: 10.1186/1471-213X-10-95

BACKGROUND: Conditional gene activation is an efficient strategy for studying gene function in genetically modified animals. Among the presently available gene switches, the tetracycline-regulated system has attracted considerable interest because of its unique potential for reversible and adjustable gene regulation. RESULTS: To investigate whether the ubiquitously expressed Gt(ROSA)26Sor locus enables uniform DOX-controlled gene expression, we inserted the improved tetracycline-regulated transcription activator iM2 together with an iM2 dependent GFP gene into the Gt(ROSA)26Sor locus, using gene targeting to generate ROSA26-iM2-GFP (R26t1Δ) mice. Despite the presence of ROSA26 promoter driven iM2, R26t1Δ mice showed very sparse DOX-activated expression of different iM2-responsive reporter genes in the brain, mosaic expression in peripheral tissues and more prominent expression in erythroid, myeloid and lymphoid lineages, in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and in olfactory neurons. CONCLUSIONS: The finding that gene regulation by the DOX-activated transcriptional factor iM2 in the Gt(ROSA)26Sor locus has its limitations is of importance for future experimental strategies involving transgene activation from the endogenous ROSA26 promoter. Furthermore, our ROSA26-iM2 knock-in mouse model (R26t1Δ) represents a useful tool for implementing gene function in vivo especially under circumstances requiring the side-by-side comparison of gene manipulated and wild type cells. Since the ROSA26-iM2 mouse allows mosaic gene activation in peripheral tissues and haematopoietic cells, this model will be very useful for uncovering previously unknown or unsuspected phenotypes.

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Eddy/Rivas Lab
01/01/10 | The Pfam protein families database.
Finn RD, Mistry J, Tate J, Coggill P, Heger A, Pollington JE, Gavin OL, Gunasekaran P, Ceric G, Forslund K, Holm L, Sonnhammer EL, Eddy SR, Bateman A
Nucleic Acids Research. 2010 Jan;38:D211-22. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkp985

Pfam is a widely used database of protein families and domains. This article describes a set of major updates that we have implemented in the latest release (version 24.0). The most important change is that we now use HMMER3, the latest version of the popular profile hidden Markov model package. This software is approximately 100 times faster than HMMER2 and is more sensitive due to the routine use of the forward algorithm. The move to HMMER3 has necessitated numerous changes to Pfam that are described in detail. Pfam release 24.0 contains 11,912 families, of which a large number have been significantly updated during the past two years. Pfam is available via servers in the UK (, the USA ( and Sweden (

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12/23/19 | A multilayer circuit architecture for the generation of distinct locomotor behaviors in .
Zarin AA, Mark B, Cardona A, Litwin-Kumar A, Doe CQ
eLlife. 2019 Dec 23;8:. doi: 10.7554/eLife.51781

Animals generate diverse motor behaviors, yet how the same motor neurons (MNs) generate two distinct or antagonistic behaviors remains an open question. Here we characterize larval muscle activity patterns and premotor/motor circuits to understand how they generate forward and backward locomotion. We show that all body wall MNs are activated during both behaviors, but a subset of MNs change recruitment timing for each behavior. We used TEM to reconstruct a full segment of all 60 MNs and 236 premotor neurons (PMNs), including differentially-recruited MNs. Analysis of this comprehensive connectome identified PMN-MN 'labeled line' connectivity; PMN-MN combinatorial connectivity; asymmetric neuronal morphology; and PMN-MN circuit motifs that could all contribute to generating distinct behaviors. We generated a recurrent network model that reproduced the observed behaviors, and used functional optogenetics to validate selected model predictions. This PMN-MN connectome will provide a foundation for analyzing the full suite of larval behaviors.

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