Fluctuations in the receptor current of the labellar sugar receptor of the fleshfly were analyzed. The receptor current was recorded extracellularly as a drop in potential between the tip and the base of the taste sensillum. After treatment with tetrodotoxin, the taste cells completely lost their impulses but retained their receptor currents, thus facilitating analysis of the receptor current without disturbance by impulses. The current fluctuation increased markedly when the sensillum was stimulated with effective sugars: maltose, sucrose, and fructose. The fluctuation increased in parallel with development of the receptor current, which indicates that it occurs as soon as the sugar reaches the apex of the sensory process. Analysis of fluctuations by computation of autocorrelation functions (ACFs) or power spectra (PS) revealed that: (a) the variance (mean square) of fluctuation vs. sugar concentration curve reached a maximum, in contrast to the monotonic increase shown by the receptor current; (b) the ACF was approximated by an exponential term, and its time constant differed according to the sugars used and their concentrations. The time constants for fructose and maltose decreased with increases in sugar concentration. At the concentrations of sugars evoking the same magnitude of receptor current, the time constant for fructose was the largest and that for maltose was the smallest. It was strongly suggested that transduction ion channels are present at the tip region of the sensory process of the sugar receptor cell and are operated directly by sugars.

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