University of Kentucky

Poster Title

The Effects of CO2 on Drosophila Larvae: Possible Neural Components

Institution

University of Kentucky

Abstract

Adult insects have been shown to have sensory structures that detect carbon dioxide (CO2) which can direct insects toward food sources. However, too high CO2 is anesthetic to insects. No prior studies have reported carbon dioxide sensory neurons in Drosophila larva. Previous experiments supposed that carbon dioxide affected larvae in the same way that it affects humans: an increase in body fluid acidity causing different behaviors, including anesthesia. We show that cardiac activity, body wall locomotion and mouth hook movement cease in less than a minute and recovery in less than a minute. A pure N2 environment does not elicit these responses even over 10 minutes. Such rapid changes caused by CO2 strongly suggesting a neural response. We are now examining where the potential CO2 receptors are located on the animal. The objective of this current research is to find sensory neurons on the larvae capable of detecting the CO2. Various sensory nerve roots are being monitored in a semi-intact preparations for electrical activity induced by CO2 exposure.

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The Effects of CO2 on Drosophila Larvae: Possible Neural Components

Adult insects have been shown to have sensory structures that detect carbon dioxide (CO2) which can direct insects toward food sources. However, too high CO2 is anesthetic to insects. No prior studies have reported carbon dioxide sensory neurons in Drosophila larva. Previous experiments supposed that carbon dioxide affected larvae in the same way that it affects humans: an increase in body fluid acidity causing different behaviors, including anesthesia. We show that cardiac activity, body wall locomotion and mouth hook movement cease in less than a minute and recovery in less than a minute. A pure N2 environment does not elicit these responses even over 10 minutes. Such rapid changes caused by CO2 strongly suggesting a neural response. We are now examining where the potential CO2 receptors are located on the animal. The objective of this current research is to find sensory neurons on the larvae capable of detecting the CO2. Various sensory nerve roots are being monitored in a semi-intact preparations for electrical activity induced by CO2 exposure.