January 16, 2021

Drosophila larval light avoidance is negatively regulated by temperature through two pairs of central brain neurons

Animal’s innate avoidance behavior is crucial for its survival. It subjects to modulation by environmental conditions in addition to the commanding sensorimotor transformation pathway. Although much has been known about the commanding neural basis, relatively less is known about how innate avoidance behavior is shaped by external conditions. Here in this paper, we report that Drosophila larvae showed stronger light avoidance at lower temperatures than at higher temperatures. Such negative regulation of light avoidance by temperature was abolished by blocking two pairs of central brain neurons, ACLPR60F09 neurons, that were responsive to both light and temperature change, including cooling and warming. ACLPR60F09 neurons could be excited by pdf-LaN neurons in the visual pathway. On the downstream side, they could inhibit the CLPNR82B09 neurons that command light induced reorientation behavior. Compared with at warm temperature, ACLPR60F09 neurons’ response to light was decreased at cool temperature so that the inhibition on CLPNR82B09 neurons was relieved and the light induced avoidance was enhanced. Our result proposed a neural mechanism underlying cross-modal modulation of animal innate avoidance behavior.

 bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience

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