Journal Article (Refereed)
Chemotopy of amino acids on the olfactory bulb predicts olfactory discrimination capabilities of zebrafish Danio rerio
Miklavc, P & Valentincic, T 2012, 'Chemotopy of amino acids on the olfactory bulb predicts olfactory discrimination capabilities of zebrafish Danio rerio', Chem Senses, 37(1), pp.65-75.
Amino acids reliably evoke strong responses in fish olfactory system. The molecular olfactory receptors (ORs) are located in the membrane of cilia and microvilli of the olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). Axons of ORNs converge on specific olfactory bulb (OB) glomeruli and the neural responses of ORNs expressing single Ors activate glomerular activity patterns typical for each amino acid. Chemically similar amino acids activate more similar glomerular activity patterns then chemically different amino acids. Differential glomerular activity patterns are the structural basis for amino acid perception and discrimination. We studied olfactory discrimination in zebrafish Danio rerio (Hamilton 1822) by conditioning them to respond to each of the following amino acids: L-Ala, L-Val, L-Leu, L-Arg, and L-Phe. Subsequently, zebrafish were tested for food searching activities with 18 nonconditioned amino acids. The food searching activity during 90 s of the test period was significantly greater after stimulation with the conditioned stimulus than with the nonconditioned amino acid. Zebrafish were able to discriminate all the tested amino acids except L-Ile from L-Val and L-Phe from L-Tyr. We conclude that zebrafish have difficulties discriminating amino acid odorants that evoke highly similar chemotopic patterns of activity in the OB.