Cell-Type-Specific Transcriptome Analysis in the Drosophila Mushroom Body Reveals Memory-Related Changes in Gene Expression.
Learning and memory formation in Drosophila rely on a network of neurons in the mushroom bodies (MBs). Whereas numerous studies have delineated roles for individual cell types within this network in aspects of learning or memory, whether or not these cells can also be distinguished by the genes they express remains unresolved. In addition, the changes in gene expression that accompany long-term memory formation within the MBs have not yet been studied by neuron type. Here, we address both issues by performing RNA sequencing on single cell types (harvested via patch pipets) within the MB. We discover that the expression of genes that encode cell surface receptors is sufficient to identify cell types and that a subset of these genes, required for sensory transduction in peripheral sensory neurons, is not only expressed within individual neurons of the MB in the central brain, but is also critical for memory formation.