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Department of Zoology


From smell to behaviour in the fruit fly brain: EM connectomics reveals a complete neural circuit for avoiding harmful microbes

The work described in this preprint (Huoviala et al., 2018) is the result of a collaboration between our Drosophila Connectomics group and the Jefferis group at the MRC LMB in Cambridge. Bringing together the functional expertise in the Jefferis lab, and our connectomics data, we were able to describe a functionally relevant and complete neural circuit for avoiding harmful microbes.

These 195 neurons were reconstructed collaboratively from a whole female brain electron microscopy volume (FAFB) of an adult vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster, Zheng et al., 2018). 96 members of the FAFB community contributed to the tracing of 19.6cm of cable using CATMAID software (Schneider-Mizell et al., 2016; Saalfeld et al., 2009), taking over 816 hours. The animation was generated using Blender and the CATMAID-to-Blender plugin, and the gif/mov created using the gifski package for R.

Movie by Fiona Love