The Developmental Rules of Neural Superposition in Drosophila

Marion Langen, Egemen Agi, Dylan J. Altschuler, Lani F. Wu, Steven J. Altschuler, Peter Robin Hiesinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

Complicated neuronal circuits can be genetically encoded, but the underlying developmental algorithms remain largely unknown. Here, we describe a developmental algorithm for the specification of synaptic partner cells through axonal sorting in the Drosophila visual map. Our approach combines intravital imaging of growth cone dynamics in developing brains of intact pupae and data-driven computational modeling. These analyses suggest that three simple rules are sufficient to generate the seemingly complex neural superposition wiring of the fly visual map without an elaborate molecular matchmaking code. Our computational model explains robust and precise wiring in a crowded brain region despite extensive growth cone overlaps and provides a framework for matching molecular mechanisms with the rules they execute. Finally, ordered geometric axon terminal arrangements that are not required for neural superposition are a side product of the developmental algorithm, thus elucidating neural circuit connectivity that remained unexplained based on adult structure and function alone. PaperClip

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-133
Number of pages14
JournalCell
Volume162
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

Cite this

Langen, M., Agi, E., Altschuler, D. J., Wu, L. F., Altschuler, S. J., & Hiesinger, P. R. (2015). The Developmental Rules of Neural Superposition in Drosophila. Cell, 162(1), 120-133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2015.05.055