Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute Seminar Series Presents
Stavros Lomvardas, PhD
Professor of Neuroscience, Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Columbia University, New York
Host: Nirao Shah
The mammalian olfactory system provides a unique example of transcriptional diversity highlighted by the monogenic and monoallelic expression of olfactory receptor (OR) genes. This singular choice is essential for olfactory perception, as it determines both the receptive field of the olfactory neuron and the targeting specificity of its axon. We identified mechanisms that allow only one of the ~2000 OR alleles to be transcribed in each neuron, as well as mechanisms that bias this choice towards specific OR repertoires along the dorsoventral axis of the olfactory epithelium. Finally, we present a novel mechanism that converts the overall stochastic OR gene choice into precise and stereotypic axon targeting outcomes.