Shepherd, David and Smith, Simon A.
Central projections of persistent larval sensory neurons prefigure adult sensory pathways in the CNS of Drosophila
Development, 122, (8), .
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We have used a GAL4 enhancer-trap line driving the
expression of a lacZ construct to examine the reorganisation
of an identified group of proprioceptive sensory
neurons during metamorphosis in Drosophila. The results
show that whilst most larval sensory neurons degenerate
during the first 24 hours of metamorphosis a segmentally
repeated array of 6 neurons per segment persists into the
adult stages to become functional adult neurons. These
sensory neurons retain their axonal projections in the
central nervous system intact and unchanged throughout.
The adult sensory neuron axons enter the central nervous
system at around 44 hours after puparium formation. Most
of these axons grow along the pathways defined by the persistent
larval sensory axons. The ordering of the adult
sensory projections is, therefore, established upon the
larval pattern of projections. The possibility that the larval
neurons act as guidance cues for organising the ordered
arrays of sensory neurons is discussed.
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