Dissecting Drosophila embryonic brain development using photoactivated gene expression.

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Abstract or Description

The Drosophila brain is generated by a complex series of morphogenetic movements. To better understand brain development and to provide a guide for experimental manipulation of brain progenitors, we created a fate map using photoactivated gene expression to mark cells originating within specific mitotic domains and time-lapse microscopy to dynamically monitor their progeny. We show that mitotic domains 1, 5, and 9 give rise to discrete cell populations within specific regions of the brain. Two novel observations were that the antennal sensory system, composed of four disparate cell clusters, arose from mitotic domain 5 and that mitotic domain B produced glial cells, while neurons were produced from mitotic domains 1, 5, and 9. Time-lapse analysis of marked cells showed complex mitotic and migratory patterns for cells derived from these mitotic domains. Photoactivated gene expression was also used either to kill, to induce ectopic divisions, or to alter cell fate. This revealed that deficits were not repopulated, while ectopic cells were removed and extra glia were tolerated.




Published In

Developmental biology, 260, 1, 124-137.