Professor Makoto Mizunami's group at Hokkaido University collaborated with Assistant Professor Taro Mito's group at Tokushima University to create a knockout cricket in which the dopamine receptor Dop9 does not work properly using a genome editing technology called Crisper Cass 1. Succeeded.

In the learning of mammals and insects, monoaminergic neurons were thought to convey reward and punishment information, but it is not clear which neurotransmitters and transmitter receptors convey it. It was.In the experiment using the knockout cricket in which the dopamine receptor Dop1 did not work, the cologne had normal associative learning with odor and reward (water), but could not associative learning with odor and punishment (salt water). ..In other words, in crickets, it turns out that Dop1 conveys punishment information, but not reward information.On the other hand, a recent study using recombinant Drosophila reported that dopamine neurons transmit both reward and punishment information via the dopamine receptor Dop1.

In the past, it was thought that the basic mechanism of learning was the same for the same insect, but through this research, there are differences in transmitters and receptors that convey reward information between crickets and flies, even for the same insect. It became clear.Future research is awaited on the evolutionary process of the diversity of learning mechanisms in insects.

Source: [Hokkaido University] Elucidating the mechanism of learning using knockout crickets

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