As a complex species of mollusk, the common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, has a unique
physiology with multiple traits, such as their complicated brains that are similar to vertebrates.
With these similarities, S. officinalis provides a novel perspective for understanding olfaction.
Critical across the animal kingdom, olfaction allows for complex behaviors such as detection of
food, shelter, mates, and danger. Although arthropods and vertebrates are the archetypal
models of olfactory organization, since both systems are composed of basic functional units
called glomeruli, investigating the olfactory system in a cuttlefish provides new insights into the
evolution of olfactory mechanisms and information processing of complex metazoans. We
expect to find glomeruli, or glomerular-like structures, in S. officinalis through whole mount
immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization and we will identify the development and
differentiation of the embryonic cephalopod olfactory system.
Physics / Astronomy
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