The Pflüger Research Group

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Pflüger
Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Pflüger

Institute of Biology - Neurobiology
Königin-Luise-Str. 28/30, 14195 Berlin

Office of the Department of Neurobiology

Sabine Funke (Königin-Luise-Str. 1-3, Room 20)

Tel.:  +49 30 838-56537

Fax.: +49 30 838-55455

Email: funke@zedat.fu-berlin.de

Group Leader

Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim Pflüger (Königin-Luise-Str. 28/30, Room 11)

Tel.:  +49 30 838-54676

Email: pflueger@neurobiologie.fu-berlin.de
 


Bird excursions Summer 2017

Research

Neuromodulatory and sensory-motor networks in insects

Active locomotion is a feature of all animals, and to achieve this animals have developed (i) muscles which are innervated by excitatory motor neurones, inhibitory neurones and neuromodulatory neurones, (ii) sensory receptors that monitor the effects of movements, ...

The flight performance of mutant Drosophila that lack octopamine

Recently, in collaboration with Prof. Dr. Carsten Duch (Tempe, Arizona, USA) and PD Dr. Björn Brembs, Berlin, Frauke Christiansen carried out her Diploma thesis on mutant Drosophila that lack the Tyramine-beta-hydroxylase gene, and therefore cannot produce octopamine but ...

Tyramine is a precursor of octopamine and an independent transmitter.

Recently we used antibodies against tyramine and octopamine to label the distribution of the respective neurones in the brain and all segmental ganglia, We found pure tyraminergic neurones predominantly in the brain, and a relative small number in fused segmental ganglia.

Connectivity of octopaminergic DUM and VUM neurons

A remaining unanswered question is that of the connectivity of these neurones. Although we know that DUM/VUM neurones are always activated or inhibited in parallel to motor neurones some important differences exist: (i) the connections of known descending interneurones are ...

Ultrastructure of neuromodulatory terminals

This project tries to reveal the ultrastructure of neuromodulatory terminals on target muscles. Normal motor terminals are of type I morphology (in Drosophila terminology), and neuromodulatory terminals are of type II. From an evolutionary point of view the latter type II ...

Electrical and cellular properties of identified DUM neurons and optophysiological recordings

According to our results octopaminergic DUM/VUM neurones are divided into subpopulations that are specifically recruited (activated or inhibited) during motor behavior, that behave very differently to sensory stimulation and that also exhibit different electrical properties.

Development of sensory hairs and their first order interneuron

We also examine the postembryonic changes of a sensory-motor circuit in locusts which is used for flight steering in the adult animal. Detailed studies are concerned with the organisation of the receptive field of an identified ventral cord interneurone (A4I1), and how hormones and ...

Evolution

Last but not least, we are interested in the behavioural function of identified circuits which may change during development of hemi- or holometabolous insects and during evolution. They may be very conserved in different species, or they may have undergone interesting adaptive ...

Group members' current projects:

  1. Descending suboesophageal-neurones and motor behaviour im Manduca sexta (Jessica Erdmann, PhD-thesis)
  2. The identification of descending tyraminergic/octopaminergic projection neurons of the locust brain and ventral nerve cord (Sergej Hartfil)
  3. Tyraminergic/Octopaminergic neurones in Drosophila: their distribution, their targets and their function (Pflüger and PhD thesis Konstantin Lehmann, and collaboration with Duch, Sigrist, Brembs, Colomb)
  4. The role of neuromodulators in motor pattern generation (see Dr. Jan Rillich, Konstantin Lehmann, Leonard Nadler and Jan Untiedt, Diploma theses)

 

Methods established in our laboratory

  • extra- and intracellular electrophysiology including neuroanatomical tracing methods (cobalt and fluorescent dyes),

  • patch-clamp, calcium-imaging, isolated neurones, cell culture,

  • methods of behavioural physiology (force and movement measurement)

  • neuroanatomical methods (paraffine and plastic serial sections)

  • immunocytochemistry, confocal microscopy including techniques of 3D analysis (in collaboration with Dr. Duch)

Curriculum Vitae

Publications overview

FU:N 6/2000 "Reizvolle Einblicke in die Bewegungsmuster kleiner Sechsbeiner"

Themen für Masterarbeiten, Bachelorarbeiten / Topics for student theses

Scans of the thoracic ganglia

GRK 837 "Functional insect science"
siehe unter http://www.stud.uni-potsdam.de/~grk837/