Insects provide an attractive system for the study of olfactory sensory perception. We have identified a novel family of seven transmembrane domain proteins, encoded by 100 to 200 genes, that is likely to represent the family of Drosophila odorant receptors. Members of this gene family are expressed in topographically defined subpopulations of olfactory sensory neurons in either the antenna or the maxillary palp. Sensory neurons express different complements of receptor genes, such that individual neurons are functionally distinct. The isolation of candidate odorant receptor genes along with a genetic analysis of olfactory-driven behavior in insects may ultimately afford a system to understand the mechanistic link between odor recognition and behavior.
Vosshall, L. B., Amrein, H., Morozov, P. S., Rzhetsky, A., & Axel, R. (1999). A spatial map of olfactory receptor expression in the Drosophila antenna. Cell, 96(5), 725–736. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0092-8674(00)80582-6