Odorant mixtures elicit less variable and faster responses than pure odorants

Ho Ka Chan, Fabian Hersperger, Emiliano Marachlian, Brian Smith, Fernando Locatelli, Paul Szyszka, Thomas Nowotny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In natural environments, odors are typically mixtures of several different chemical compounds. However, the implications of mixtures for odor processing have not been fully investigated. We have extended a standard olfactory receptor model to mixtures and found through its mathematical analysis that odorant-evoked activity patterns are more stable across concentrations and first-spike latencies of receptor neurons are shorter for mixtures than for pure odorants. Shorter first-spike latencies arise from the nonlinear dependence of binding rate on odorant concentration, commonly described by the Hill coefficient, while the more stable activity patterns result from the competition between different ligands for receptor sites. These results are consistent with observations from numerical simulations and physiological recordings in the olfactory system of insects. Our results suggest that mixtures allow faster and more reliable olfactory coding, which could be one of the reasons why animals often use mixtures in chemical signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1006536
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Volume14
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Fingerprint

activity pattern
odor compounds
odor
mathematical analysis
chemical compound
Receptor
ligand
Odors
insect
Spike
Odorant Receptors
Latency
animal
odors
simulation
receptors
Chemical compounds
olfactory receptors
chemical compounds
Insects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Ecology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

Cite this

Chan, H. K., Hersperger, F., Marachlian, E., Smith, B., Locatelli, F., Szyszka, P., & Nowotny, T. (2018). Odorant mixtures elicit less variable and faster responses than pure odorants. PLoS Computational Biology, 14(12), e1006536. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006536

Odorant mixtures elicit less variable and faster responses than pure odorants. / Chan, Ho Ka; Hersperger, Fabian; Marachlian, Emiliano; Smith, Brian; Locatelli, Fernando; Szyszka, Paul; Nowotny, Thomas.

In: PLoS Computational Biology, Vol. 14, No. 12, 01.12.2018, p. e1006536.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chan, HK, Hersperger, F, Marachlian, E, Smith, B, Locatelli, F, Szyszka, P & Nowotny, T 2018, 'Odorant mixtures elicit less variable and faster responses than pure odorants', PLoS Computational Biology, vol. 14, no. 12, pp. e1006536. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006536
Chan, Ho Ka ; Hersperger, Fabian ; Marachlian, Emiliano ; Smith, Brian ; Locatelli, Fernando ; Szyszka, Paul ; Nowotny, Thomas. / Odorant mixtures elicit less variable and faster responses than pure odorants. In: PLoS Computational Biology. 2018 ; Vol. 14, No. 12. pp. e1006536.
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