Temporal changes in odor concentration are vitally important to many animals orienting and navigating in their environment. How are such temporal changes detected? Within the scope of the present work an accurate stimulation and analysis system was developed to examine the dynamics of physiological properties of Drosophila melanogaster olfactory receptor organs. Subsequently a new method for delivering odor stimuli was tested and used to present the first dynamic characterization of olfactory receptors at the level of single neurons. Initially, recordings of the whole antenna were conducted while stimulating with different odors. The odor delivery system allowed the dynamic characterization of the whole fly antenna, including its sensilla and receptor neurons. Based on the obtained electroantennogram data a new odor delivery method called digital sequence method was developed. In addition the degree of accuracy was enhanced, initially using electroantennograms, and later recordings of odorant receptor cells at the single sensilla level. This work shows for the first time that different odors evoked different responses within one neuron depending on the chemical structure of the odor.
The present work offers new insights into the dynamic properties of olfactory transduction in Drosophila melanogaster and describes time dependent parameters underlying these properties.