Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Department

Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Richard G Vogt

Abstract

The CD36 orthologues, SNMP1 and SNMP2, are highly conserved throughout the Holometabola; including the insect lineages Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Diptera, and Lepidoptera (Nicholls and Vogt, 2008). This evolutionary conservation provides intriguing, if indirect, evidence for their important biological function. Studies in D. melanogaster have shown that SNMP1 expresses in olfactory neurons of trichoid (pheromone) sensilla and is required to induce sensitivity to the only known fly pheromone cis-vaccynil-acetate (Benton et. al. 2007, Jin et al. 2008).

In this study we demonstrate a broader and cell specific expression pattern for SNMP1 as well as SNMP2. Via the GAL4-UAS transgenesis system in tandem with immunohistochemical methods, we show that SNMP1 expresses in neural and support cells of the antennae as is consistent with the aforementioned studies. However, it is also shown that SNMP1 expression is not limited to the antennae, but extends to support cells associating with gustatory neurons in the periphery, arguing that SNMP1 exhibits functions beyond those which have been currently elucidated. Likewise we show that SNMP2 is expressed in neurons found throughout the gustatory system including the antennae, labellum, legs, and wings. Intriguingly it also exhibits a support cell expression pattern similar to its homologue SNMP1. Together, these findings suggest a broader non-neural chemosensory function conserved between the SNMPs as well as a putative role for SNMP2 in gustatory reception.

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