Drosophila fasciclinII (fasII) mutants perform poorly after olfactory conditioning due to a defect in encoding, stabilizing, or retrieving short-term memories. Performance was rescued by inducing the expression of a normal transgene just before training and immediate testing. Induction after training but before testing failed to rescue performance, showing that Fas II does not have an exclusive role in memory retrieval processes. The stability of odor memories in fasII mutants are indistinguishable from control animals when initial performance is normalized. Like several other mutants deficient in odor learning, fasII mutants exhibit a heightened sensitivity to ethanol vapors. A combination of behavioral and genetic strategies have therefore revealed a role for Fas II in the molecular operations of encoding short-term odor memories and conferring alcohol sensitivity. The preferential expression of Fas II in the axons of mushroom body neurons furthermore suggests that short-term odor memories are formed in these neurites.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)