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Microscope photo of Larva muscle nerve cells

We seek to understand how neural networks are specified and how they assemble during development. The locomotor network of the Drosophila embryo and larva serves as a powerful experimental model. Composed of identified neurons whose connections have been reconstructed, we use genetics, imaging and electrophysiology to study fundamental questions about synapse development, dendritic growth and the regulation of plasticity.

Current research topics include:

  • Critical periods during nervous system development - how networks become functional and why transient disturbances during such formative periods lead to lasting errors
  • Mechanisms of activity-regulated homeostasis 
  • Reactive oxygen species seen in a different light, as metabolic regulators of synaptic growth

Key Publications

Dhawan S, Myers P, Bailey DMD, Ostrovsky AD, Evers JF, Landgraf M. (2021). Reactive Oxygen Species Mediate Activity-Regulated Dendritic Plasticity Through NADPH Oxidase and Aquaporin Regulation. Front Cell Neurosci. 2021; 15: 641802. DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2021.641802.

Valdes-Aleman J, Fetter RD, Sales EC, Heckman EL, Venkatasubramanian L, Doe CQ, Landgraf M, Cardona A, Zlatic M. (2021). Comparative Connectomics Reveals How Partner Identity, Location, and Activity Specify Synaptic Connectivity in Drosophila. Neuron. 2021 Jan 6; 109(1): 105–122.e7. DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2020.10.004.

Oswald MCW, Brooks PS, Zwart MF, Mukherjee A, West RJH, Giachello, CNGMorarach K, Baines RA, Sweeney ST and Landgraf M. (2018). Reactive Oxygen Species Regulate Activity-Dependent Neuronal Structural Plasticity.  eLife, 7. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.39393.

Zwart MF, Pulver SR, Truman JW, Fushiki A, Fetter, RD, Cardona A, Landgraf M. (2016). Selective Inhibition Mediates the Sequential Recruitment of Motor Pools. Neuron 91(3):615-628.  DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.06.031.  

Couton L, Mauss AS, Yunusov T, Diegelmann S, Evers JF, Landgraf M (2015). Development of connectivity in a motoneuronal network in Drosophila larvae. Curr Biol 25: 568–576, 2015. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.12.056.  (see also Dispatch by Sternberg JR, Wyart C. Neuronal wiring: linking dendrite placement to synapse formation. Curr Biol 25: R190–1, 2015.)

Full list of publications via PubMed



Contact Details

Group Leader

Dr Matthias Landgraf

Department of Zoology
University of Cambridge
Downing St

01223  (7)69348

Group Members