Ivan Rodriguez Group
Department of Genetics and Evolution - Faculty of Science, University of Geneva
Project at a glance
We are interested in how mammals extract socially relevant information from the outside world, and how this information is translated into an adequate behavior.
In order to gain insight into the logic of sensory perception, we study the vomeronasal circuit, a neuronal system involved in pheromone recognition that plays a crucial role in peer-mediated neuroendrocine effects and instinctive behaviors.
The sensory part of this circuit, the vomeronasal organ, is located in the nasal cavity and is composed of neurons that express specialized chemoreceptors.
These receptors represent key elements in the elaboration of a functional vomeronasal system.
They indeed play a dual role, since they are directly implicated in both chemodetection and in the establishment of a functional vomeronasal axonal projection map in the brain.
We explore this system in the mouse by using a genetic door offered by the remarkable and still unexplained regulation of the genes coding for these receptors: one unique gene from a single parental allele is expressed per neuron.