Department of Entomology


Anupama Dahanukarucr entomology

Asssociate Professor of Entomology
Location: Genomics2234C
(951) 827-5742
E-mail: anupama.dahanukar@ucr.edu


Anupama Dahanukar received her Ph.D. in Genetics from Duke University where she studied patterning along the anterior-posterior axis in Drosophila embryos. In 1999, she joined the laboratory of John Carlson at Yale University to pursue post-doctoral training in the molecular neurobiology of insect chemosensory systems. She joined the faculty of the Department of Entomology in 2009.


B.Sc. Life Sciences 1990
University of Mumbai, India
Ph.D. Genetics 1999
Duke University


2001 - 2003 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award

Research Area

We are interested in how chemicals in the environment are detected by insect sensory neurons and how this information is processed to specify distinct behaviors. We focus on the gustatory system of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, which has a remarkable repertoire of physiological and behavioral responses to contact stimuli present in sources such as food substrates as well as con-specific individuals. Assessment of taste chemicals is crucial for the fruit fly and other insects to make behavioral decisions in the context of acquiring nutrition, courting individuals and selecting sites to lay eggs. We use a combination of molecular, genetic, electrophysiological, behavioral and imaging techniques to investigate the peripheral and central mechanisms that guide contact chemosensory behaviors of Drosophila and other insects. We expect to employ some of the principles that emerge from our studies to develop novel strategies for control of agricultural pests.


Wisotsky, Z., Medina, A., Freeman, E. & Dahanukar, A. (2011) Evolutionary
differences in food preferences rely on Gr64e, a receptor for glycerol. Nat Neurosci
(in press)

Kwon, J.Y., Dahanukar, A., Weiss, L.A. & Carlson, J.R. (2011) Molecular and
cellular organization of the taste system in the Drosophila larva. J Neurosci 31(43):

Weiss, L.A., Dahanukar, A., Kwon, J.Y., Banerjee, D. & Carlson, J.R. (2011) The
molecular and cellular basis of bitter taste in Drosophila. Neuron 69(2): 258-272.

Dahanukar, A. & Ray, A. (2011) Courtship, aggression and avoidance:
Pheromones, receptors and neurons for social behaviors in Drosophila. Fly 5(1):

Dahanukar, A., Lei, Y-T., Kwon, J.Y. and Carlson, J.R. (2007) Two Gr genes underlie sugar reception in Drosophila. Neuron 56:503-516.

Kwon, J.Y., Dahanukar, A., Weiss, L.A. and Carlson, J.R. (2007) The molecular basis of CO2 reception in Drosophila. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:3574-3578.

Hallem, E.A., Dahanukar, A. and Carlson, J.R. (2006) Insect odor and taste receptors. Ann Rev Entomol 51:113-135.

Dahanukar, A., Hallem, E.A. and Carlson J.R. (2005) Insect chemoreception. Curr Opin Neurobiol 15:423-430.

Perry, J., Dahanukar, A. and Carlson, J.R. (2004) Analysis of taste receptors in Drosophila. In “New Frontiers in Insect Neuroscience,” Thomas A. Christensen (ed.), CRC Press.

Chyb, S., Dahanukar, A., Wickens, A. and Carlson, J.R. (2003) Drosophila Gr5a encodes a taste receptor tuned to trehalose. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 100(2): 14526-14530.

Dahanukar, A., Foster, K., van der Goes van Naters, W. and Carlson, J.R. (2001) A Gr receptor is required for response to the sugar trehalose in taste neurons in Drosophila. Nature Neurosci 4:1182-1186.

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Tel: (951) 827-1012

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