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Examining optogenetically stimulated locomotive behavior in Channelrhodopsin and CsChrimson Drosophila Melanogaster strains to classify post-synaptic “moonwalker” stalling

Project by Polygence alum Maya

Examining optogenetically stimulated locomotive behavior in Channelrhodopsin and CsChrimson Drosophila Melanogaster strains to classify post-synaptic “moonwalker” stalling

Project's result

Top 300 Regeneron STS Scholar

They started it from zero. Are you ready to level up with us?

Summary

Drosophila melanogaster optogenetic tools are used to map neural systems of vision, instinct, and reactive behavior. Bilateral pair Moonwalker Descending Neurons (MDNs) are just one type of neuron that has been identified as part of the instinctual backwards walking circuit, which leads to questions about the pathways of such behaviors. While backwards walking and other similar behaviors are still neurologically mysterious, tools like CsChrimson and ChR2 can help us classify neuroanatomical connections. In this study, we aim to identify the similarities between transgenic UAS-CsChrimson VT050660-GAL4 ‘moonwalker’ and UAS-Channelrhodopsin2 (ChR2) ‘seizure’ strains, through optogenetic stimulation. We used red and blue light activated channels to drive either backwards walking(moonwalked) or pain-less seizure(seizure) behavior, and recorded patterns in behavior both during and after assays.Previous experimentation has identified stalling after “moonwalker” red light activation, hypothetically due to a sudden drop in neurotransmitter release. However, the corroboration of activated behavior in both strains, could reveal key neuroanatomical pathways, furthering the classification of Drosophila melanogaster structure.

Oscar

Oscar

Polygence mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate

Subjects

Biology, Neuroscience

Expertise

Drosophila melanogaster, Genetics, Neuroscience, Meiosis, circadian clocks, Proteomic Networks, -Omic databases

Review of mentor

My mentor was very helpful and well versed in my topic!

Maya

Maya

Student

Graduation Year

2024