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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Semaphorin- 1a controls receptor neuron-specific axonal convergence in the primary olfactory center of Drosophila.

In the olfactory system of Drosophila, 50 functional classes of sensory receptor neurons (ORNs) project in a highly organized fashion into the CNS, where they sort out from one another and converge into distinct synaptic glomeruli. We identified the transmembrane molecule Semaphorin- 1a (Sema-1a) as an essential component to ensure glomerulus-specific axon segregation. Removal of sema-1a in ORNs does not affect the pathfinding toward their target area but disrupts local axonal convergence into a single glomerulus, resulting in two distinct targeting phenotypes: axons either intermingle with adjacent ORN classes or segregate according to their odorant receptor identity into ectopic sites. Differential Sema-1a expression can be detected among neighboring glomeruli, and mosaic analyses show that sema-1a functions nonautonomously in ORN axon sorting. These findings provide insights into the mechanism by which afferent interactions lead to synaptic specificity in the olfactory system.[1]


  1. Semaphorin-1a controls receptor neuron-specific axonal convergence in the primary olfactory center of Drosophila. Lattemann, M., Zierau, A., Schulte, C., Seidl, S., Kuhlmann, B., Hummel, T. Neuron (2007) [Pubmed]
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