Factor Analysis of Olfactory Responses in Drosophila melanogaster Enhancer-Trap Lines as a Method for Ascertaining Common Reception Components for Different Odorants

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Olfactory information is transmitted to the brain using combinatorial receptor codes; consequently, a single reception element can be activated by different odorants. Several methods have been applied to describe from a functional point of view those odorants sharing olfactory reception components. A genetic approach in Drosophila melanogaster used correlation between behavioral responses to different odorants for deducing common olfactory pathway-genes. A factor analysis applied to behavioral responses to five odorants of 27 antennal enhancer-trap lines revealed three components, explaining 82.1% of the total observed variance. A first factor affects simultaneously the response to ethyl acetate, propionaldehyde, and acetone. A second factor was related to responses to ethyl acetate, ethyl alcohol, and acetone, and, finally, the third factor associates responses to acetic acid and ethyl acetate. They contribute by 35.1%, 36.9%, and 28%, respectively, to the explained variance.

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