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Dahanukar, Anupama A
Assistant Professor of Entomology
Anupama Dahanukar received her Ph.D. in Genetics from Duke University where she studied patterning along the anterior-posterior axis in Drosophila embryos. In 1999, she joined the laboratory of John Carlson at Yale University to pursue post-doctoral training in the molecular neurobiology of insect chemosensory systems. She joined the faculty of the Department of Entomology in 2009.
2001 - 2003 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award
We are interested in how chemicals in the environment are detected by insect sensory neurons and how this information is processed to specify distinct behaviors. We focus on the gustatory system of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which has a remarkable repertoire of physiological and behavioral responses to contact stimuli present in sources such as food substrates as well as con-specific individuals. Assessment of taste chemicals is crucial for the fruit fly and other insects to make behavioral decisions in the context of acquiring nutrition, courting individuals and selecting sites to lay eggs. We use a combination of molecular, genetic, electrophysiological, behavioral and imaging techniques to investigate the peripheral and central mechanisms that guide contact chemosensory behaviors of Drosophila and other insects. We expect to employ some of the principles that emerge from our studies to develop novel strategies for control of agricultural pests.
Dahanukar, A., Lei, Y-T., Kwon, J.Y. and Carlson, J.R. (2007) Two Gr genes underlie sugar reception in Drosophila. Neuron 56:503-516.