2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Science

The Role of Dopamine in the Modulation of Walking Behavior in Drosophila melanogaster
Monica A. Stutz
Dr. Cynthia Cooper and Dr. Troy Zars (University of Missouri-Columbia), Faculty Mentors

The mushroom bodies in the Drosophila brain are necessary for several behaviors, including olfaction and general walking activity. Clues to the role of neuromodulators in mushroom body function come from olfactory classical conditioning in which both octopamine and dopamine have complementary functions. Whether octopamine and dopamine similarly affect the mushroom body dependent walking behavior is still an open question. To examine the role of dopamine, the walking activity of dopamine depleted flies were recorded electronically and results showed an increase in activity at 2.5 hours. Genetic variant flies that lack synaptic transmission in dopaminergic cells were tested in the same manner and showed a decrease in walking activity at 2.5 hours. Compared to wild type flies, the two treatment groups had overall less walking activity indicating dopamine as an important component of general walking behavior.

Keywords: Drosophila, dopamine, mushroom bodies, walking activity, olfaction

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 26-34
Location: OP Lobby & Atrium
Time: 1:15

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