Presentation Title

Characterizing the role of G-proteins in mediating repulsive cue-dependent food leaving.

Faculty Mentor

Gareth Harris

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

Location

95

Session

poster 1

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

biological_agricultural_sciences

Abstract

Decision-making behaviors associated with sensory cues is critical for most organisms across the phyla. Despite this importance, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these behaviors is not fully understood in humans. A number of neurological diseases have been shown to be associated with disrupted G-alpha protein signaling, including, sensory processing disorders and mood disorders. G-alpha proteins have a significant role in these different cellular pathways and neural circuits and have been previously indicated to have an array of functions expressed in vital areas of the mammalian brain required for neural processing of sensory information. Based on the appreciation that G-alpha proteins play critical roles in various aspects of nervous system function, such as, sensation, sensory perception, and neural processing, we can use a combination of genetics and behavioral analysis to investigate the role of G-alpha proteins in the regulation of sensory-dependent decision-making behavior.

In the Harris lab, an invertebrate nematode, C. elegans, is studied to understand neuronally controlled behaviors by detecting the role of G-alpha protein pathways. We use a multi-sensory behavioral paradigm known as “2-nonanone-dependent food leaving”. This involves assessing the worms ability to leave a food patch during exposure to the chemical repellant 2-nonanone. In this behavioral assay, worms that reside on food are exposed to a drop of nearby volatile repulsive 2-nonanone. Both food signals and 2-nonanone repulsive odors are simultaneously sensed by the worm and force the worm to make a choice to leave or stay on a food source. We have found multiple G-alpha protein encoding genes (gpa) that are implicated in 2-nonanone-dependent food leaving, this was based on mutants that lack these G-alpha proteins delaying the worms rate of leaving food. This suggests multiple G-alpha proteins regulate this multi-sensory behavior and provides a platform to investigate how G-alpha proteins regulate nervous systems to coordinate sensory-dependent behavior and decision-making behaviors.

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Nov 23rd, 8:00 AM Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM

Characterizing the role of G-proteins in mediating repulsive cue-dependent food leaving.

95

Decision-making behaviors associated with sensory cues is critical for most organisms across the phyla. Despite this importance, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these behaviors is not fully understood in humans. A number of neurological diseases have been shown to be associated with disrupted G-alpha protein signaling, including, sensory processing disorders and mood disorders. G-alpha proteins have a significant role in these different cellular pathways and neural circuits and have been previously indicated to have an array of functions expressed in vital areas of the mammalian brain required for neural processing of sensory information. Based on the appreciation that G-alpha proteins play critical roles in various aspects of nervous system function, such as, sensation, sensory perception, and neural processing, we can use a combination of genetics and behavioral analysis to investigate the role of G-alpha proteins in the regulation of sensory-dependent decision-making behavior.

In the Harris lab, an invertebrate nematode, C. elegans, is studied to understand neuronally controlled behaviors by detecting the role of G-alpha protein pathways. We use a multi-sensory behavioral paradigm known as “2-nonanone-dependent food leaving”. This involves assessing the worms ability to leave a food patch during exposure to the chemical repellant 2-nonanone. In this behavioral assay, worms that reside on food are exposed to a drop of nearby volatile repulsive 2-nonanone. Both food signals and 2-nonanone repulsive odors are simultaneously sensed by the worm and force the worm to make a choice to leave or stay on a food source. We have found multiple G-alpha protein encoding genes (gpa) that are implicated in 2-nonanone-dependent food leaving, this was based on mutants that lack these G-alpha proteins delaying the worms rate of leaving food. This suggests multiple G-alpha proteins regulate this multi-sensory behavior and provides a platform to investigate how G-alpha proteins regulate nervous systems to coordinate sensory-dependent behavior and decision-making behaviors.