Wiring patterns from auditory sensory neurons to the escape and song-relay pathways in fruit flies

Hyunsoo Kim, Mihoko Horigome, Yuki Ishikawa, Feng Li, J. Scott Lauritzen, Gwyneth Card, Davi D. Bock, Azusa Kamikouchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Many animals rely on acoustic cues to decide what action to take next. Unraveling the wiring patterns of the auditory neural pathways is prerequisite for understanding such information processing. Here, we reconstructed the first step of the auditory neural pathway in the fruit fly brain, from primary to secondary auditory neurons, at the resolution of transmission electron microscopy. By tracing axons of two major subgroups of auditory sensory neurons in fruit flies, low-frequency tuned Johnston's organ (JO)-B neurons and high-frequency tuned JO-A neurons, we observed extensive connections from JO-B neurons to the main second-order neurons in both the song-relay and escape pathways. In contrast, JO-A neurons connected strongly to a neuron in the escape pathway. Our findings suggest that heterogeneous JO neuronal populations could be recruited to modify escape behavior whereas only specific JO neurons contribute to courtship behavior. We also found that all JO neurons have postsynaptic sites at their axons. Presynaptic modulation at the output sites of JO neurons could affect information processing of the auditory neural pathway in flies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2068-2098
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • RRID: AB_10013483
  • RRID: AB_141725
  • RRID: AB_141761
  • RRID: AB_2338362
  • RRID: AB_528108
  • RRID: BDSC_25752
  • RRID: BDSC_25752
  • RRID: BDSC_28845
  • RRID: BDSC_39348
  • RRID: BDSC_40588
  • RRID: BDSC_52272
  • RRID: BDSC_52807
  • RRID: BDSC_77124
  • auditory neural pathway
  • courtship song
  • electron microscopy
  • escape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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