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Richard Benton

  1. Date: May 03, 2018. 12:00
    Location: CCU Seminar Room

    Title: Olfactory evolution in drosophilids: from receptors to behaviours.

    Affiliation: University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


    My group is interested in understanding the structure, function and evolution of neural circuits. We exploit the olfactory system of Drosophila melanogaster as a model, which is well-described, experimentally accessible and dynamically evolving. Furthermore, genomic and growing genetic access to closely related, but ecologically diverse, drosophilids provides an unparalleled foundation for comparative studies of their olfactory circuits. I will present our recent work on the evolution of the olfactory pathways of Drosophila sechellia, an island endemic that displays extreme specialisation for the Morinda citrifolia “noni” fruit as a food source and breeding site. We have started to define the molecular basis by which D. sechellia’s olfactory receptors are re-tuned to the odours of its host and – through development of novel genetic tools in this species – how these different sensory pathways contribute to host-seeking behaviours.

  2. Host:

    Carlos Ribeiro