Here, we reveal that the regulation of Drosophila odorant receptor (OR) expression during the pupal stage is permissive and imprecise. We found that olfactory sensory neuron activity directly after hatching both directs and refines OR expression. We demonstrate that, as in mice, dLsd1 and Su(var)3-9 balance heterochromatin formation to direct OR expression. Neuronal activity induces dLsd 1 and Su(var)3-9 expression, linking neuronal activity to OR expression. OR expression refinement shows a restricted duration, suggesting a gene regulatory critical period brings olfactory sensory neuron differentiation to an end. Consistent with a change in differentiation, stress during the critical period represses dLsd1 and Su(var)3-9 expression and makes the early permissive OR expression permanent. This induced permissive gene regulatory state makes OR expression resilient to stress later in life. Hence, during a critical period, OR activity feedback similar to in mouse OR selection, defines adult OR expression in Drosophila .
bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience