Time: 10:00-11:30 on Tue.,Oct.31, 2023
Speaker: Dr.Jing Wang
Host: Dr.Wei Zhang
Title: Circuit Topology and the Hierarchy of Needs
Animals typically display one behavior at a time, with protocols governing the switch from one behavior to another at the appropriate moment. Similarly, large-scale electronic systems have operational protocols that are shaped by circuit topology. Our study aimed to investigate the protocol and circuit topology of feeding and courtship behaviors in Drosophila. We found feeding is initially prioritized in starved males, but the intake of protein-rich food prompts a swift protocol change, prioritizing courtship within minutes. This shift is mediated by a gut-derived neuropeptide, Diuretic hormone 31 (Dh31). Amino acids in food activate Dh31+ enteroendocrine cells, leading to elevated circulating Dh31 levels that subsequently excite specific brain neurons, with one population inhibiting feeding and the other promoting courtship. Our findings illustrate a flexible circuit topology that determines behavioral protocols.
Dr. Wang received his bachelor degree from Department of Physics in Tsinghua University and Ph.D. in Neurobiology from the University of Iowa. He did postdoctoral research in the laboratory of Alan Gelperin at Bell Labs, then in the laboratory of Richard Axel at Columbia University. Since joining the faculty in 2004, he has been named a Chris and Warren Hellman Faculty Scholar, a Searle Scholar, and a Beckman Young Investigator.