Mechanosensory neurons control sweet sensing in Drosophila

Yong Taek Jeong, Soo Min Oh, Jaewon Shim, Jeong Taeg Seo, Jae Young Kwon, Seok Jun Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Animals discriminate nutritious food from toxic substances using their sense of taste. Since taste perception requires taste receptor cells to come into contact with water-soluble chemicals, it is a form of contact chemosensation. Concurrent with that contact, mechanosensitive cells detect the texture of food and also contribute to the regulation of feeding. Little is known, however, about the extent to which chemosensitive and mechanosensitive circuits interact. Here, we show Drosophila prefers soft food at the expense of sweetness and that this preference requires labellar mechanosensory neurons (MNs) and the mechanosensory channel Nanchung. Activation of these labellar MNs causes GABAergic inhibition of sweet-sensing gustatory receptor neurons, reducing the perceived intensity of a sweet stimulus. These findings expand our understanding of the ways different sensory modalities cooperate to shape animal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12872
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Sept 19
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Drs K. Scott, H. Amrein, B. Baker, the Bloomington Stock Center and the Vienna Drosophila RNAi Center for providing fly stocks. We also thank Dr Y.D. Chung for sharing NOMPA antibodies. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) Grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIP) (NRF-2014R1A2A1A11050045 and NRF-2016R1A5A2008630).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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