Mutation of the central nervous system neuroblast proliferation repressor ana leads to defects in larval olfactory behavior. Academic Article uri icon


  • In the developing nervous system, interactions between glia and immature neurons or neuroblasts regulate axon pathfinding, migration, and cell division, and therefore affect structure and function. Glial control of neuroblast cell division has been documented by studies of the anachronism (ana) gene of Drosophila melanogaster. ana encodes a glycoprotein which, in the developing larval central nervous system, is secreted by glia that neighbor regulated neuroblasts. Mutations in ana lead to premature neuroblast proliferation in the larval brain. Examination of lacZ expression from an ana enhancer trap line as well as detection of the ana protein show that ana is also expressed in the larval antennal-maxillary complex (AMC) at all larval stages. As previously reported for the central nervous system, ana expression in the AMC appears to be confined to glial cells. Larval olfactory system function in ana mutants was assayed in a behavioral paradigm. When tested with the three different chemoattractants, third instar ana9 mutant larvae showed diminished olfactory response compared to controls. Examination of a second ana allele revealed aberrant olfactory response to ethyl acetate, demonstrating that more than one mutation in ana can give rise to abnormal larval olfactory behavior. Assays of early first instar ana9 mutant larvae revealed defective olfactory behavior, implying that the olfactory phenotype stems from early larval AMC and/or embryonic origins. This is consistent with proliferation analysis in the early larval AMC region which uncovered a significantly higher number of S-phase cells in ana9 mutants.

published proceedings

  • J Neurobiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Park, Y., Caldwell, M. C., & Datta, S.

citation count

  • 16

publication date

  • August 1997