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TJ-positive neurons implication in Drosophila larva locomotor behaviour

Abstract : CPGs (Central Pattern Generators) are neural networks able to autonomously generate essential rhythmic behaviours such as walking or breathing. In Drosophila larvae, the locomotor CPG is made up of motoneurons (MNs) and a huge variety of interneurons (INs). How many are actually necessary to constitute a functional CPG and how they interact is not known. During the course of this PhD, I studied a discrete neuronal population singled out by its expression of the Maf transcription factor (TF) Traffic Jam (TJ). Thanks to an intersectional genetics approach and a TJ-Flp line generated during my PhD, I showed for the first time that TJ+ neurons subpopulations have distinct functions in Drosophila larva locomotion. Functional subdivision of TJ+ population eventually led to the identification of 3 TJ+ per+ GABAergic neurons that regulate the speed of locomotion. Thorough molecular characterization of this population permitted to identify them as mnb progeny neurons, a well studied subgroup of midline cells whose function had never been described before. The TF combinatorial code expressed by these cells is highly reminiscent of the one found in V2b INs, a population in vertebrates thought to regulate the speed of locomotion as well in vertebrates; this opens the possibility of a functional conservation across evolution. Preliminary results furthermore suggest that TJ+ INs would have functional roles in the adult fly.
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Submitted on : Monday, October 29, 2018 - 3:24:10 PM
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Hélène Babski. TJ-positive neurons implication in Drosophila larva locomotor behaviour. Agricultural sciences. Université Montpellier, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018MONTT021⟩. ⟨tel-01907831⟩

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