The plant cuticle is a waxy outer covering on plants that has a primary role in water conservation but is also an important barrier against the entry of pathogenic microorganisms. In this video, we demonstrate the analysis of plant cuticle mutants identified by forward and reverse genetics approaches.
In insects, the oenocytes produce cuticular hydrocarbon compounds. These compounds protect against desiccation and facilitate chemical communication. Here we demonstrate a dissection technique used to isolate the oenocytes from adult Drosophila melanogaster, and illustrate how this preparation can be utilized to study genes involved in hydrocarbon synthesis.
In this video-article we present a method for the isolation and purification of Drosophila peripheral neurons using a fast magnetic bead assisted cell sorting strategy. RNA obtained from the isolated cells can be readily used for downstream applications including microarray analyses.
1Department of Chemistry, City College of New York, City University of New York Graduate Center and Institute for Macromolecular Assemblies, 2Department of Chemical Engineering, City College of New York
Aerial plant organs are protected by the cuticle, a supramolecular biopolyester-wax assembly. We present protocols to monitor selective removal of epi- and intracuticular waxes from tomato fruit cuticles on molecular and micro scales by solid-state NMR and atomic force microscopy, respectively, and to assess the cross-linking capacity of engineered cuticular biopolyesters.
We present a method to visualize cuticle in live C. elegans using the red fluorescent lipophilic dye DiI (1,1'-dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate), which is commonly used in C. elegans to visualize environmentally exposed neurons. With this optimized protocol, alae and annular cuticular structures are stained by DiI and observed using compound microscopy.
Application of electrophysiology to accessible synapses provides a quantifiable measure of synaptic activity, useful in analyzing synaptic mutants. This article describes a dissection method used to expose the neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and briefly discusses some of the uses to which this preparation can be applied.
A method to immunostain and visualize chordotonal organs in larvae and pupae of Drosophila melanogaster is described.
Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
In this video-article we present a method for isolating single or multiple Drosophila da neurons from third instar larvae using the infrared capture (IR) class of Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM). RNA obtained from the isolated neurons can be readily used for downstream applications including qRT-PCR or microarray analyses.
Drosophila melanogaster larvae provide an ideal model system to investigate the mechanisms of axonal transport within larval segmental nerves. Using this procedure, 3rd instar larvae carrying various mutations can be compared to wild type larvae.
This video demonstrates the procedure for isolating whole brains from adult Drosophila in preparation for recording from single neurons using standard whole cell technology. It includes images of GFP labeled cells and neurons viewed during recording.
The Drosophila retina is a crystal-like lattice composed of a small number of cell types that are generated in a stereotyped manner 1. Its amenability to sophisticated genetic analysis allows the study of complex developmental programs. This protocol describes dissections and immunohistochemistry of retinas at three discrete developmental stages, with a focus on photoreceptor differentiation.
This protocol describes three Drosophila preparations: 1) adult brain dissection, 2) adult retina dissection and 3) developing eye disc- brain complexes dissection. Emphasis is laid on special preparation techniques and conditions for live imaging, although all preparations can be used for fixed tissue immunohistochemistry.
Parasitoid (parasitic) wasps constitute a major class of natural enemies of many insects including Drosophila melanogaster. We will introduce the techniques to propagate these parasites in Drosophila spp. and demonstrate how to analyze their effects on immune tissues of Drosophila larvae.
The neuromuscular junction (NMJ) of Drosophila melanogaster is an important model system for studying normal synaptic function as well as perturbations to synaptic function found in certain neurological diseases. We present a protocol for dissection of the Drosophila larval motor system and immunostaining for active zone proteins within the NMJ.
We describe a Flippase-induced intersectional Gal80/Gal4 repression (FINGR) method, allowing tissue-specific FLP to determine Gal80 expression patterns. Wherever Gal4 and FLP overlap, Gal4 expression is turned on (Gal80 flipped out) or off (Gal80 flipped in). The FINGR method is versatile for clonal analysis and neural circuit mapping.
Simultaneous Recording of Calcium Signals from Identified Neurons and Feeding Behavior of Drosophila melanogaster
The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, extends its proboscis for feeding, responding to a sugar stimulus from its proboscis or tarsus. I have combined observations of the proboscis extension response (PER) with a calcium imaging technique, allowing us to monitor the activity of neurons in the brain, simultaneously with behavioral observation.
The opener muscle of the crayfish leg is presented for its historical importance and experimental versatility in muscle phenotype, synaptic physiology and plasticity.
How niches and stem cells form during development is an important question with practical implications. In the Drosophila ovary, germ line stem cells and their somatic niches form during larval development. This video demonstrates how to dissect, stain and mount female gonads from late third instar (LL3) Drosophila larvae.
In this video, we describe a method for live cell imaging of asymmetrically dividing sensory organ progenitor cells and epidermal cells in intact Drosophila pupae
Bees can be conditioned in an appetitive olfactory learning paradigm (PER-conditioning). Using odors as stimuli, we established a method in which behavior is recorded while simultaneously Calcium Imaging is used to measure odor evoked activity in mushroom body neurons in vivo.
Identification of Olfactory Volatiles using Gas Chromatography-Multi-unit Recordings (GCMR) in the Insect Antennal Lobe
Olfactory cues mediate many different behaviors in insects, and are often complex mixtures comprised of tens to hundreds of volatile compounds. Using gas chromatography with multi-channel recording in the insect antennal lobe, we describe a method for the identification of bioactive compounds.
Assessing Neurodegenerative Phenotypes in Drosophila Dopaminergic Neurons by Climbing Assays and Whole Brain Immunostaining
Here we describe two assays that have been established to study age-dependent neurodegeneration of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Drosophila: the climbing/startle-induced negative geotaxis assay which allows to study the functional effects of DA neurons degeneration and the tyrosine hydroxylase immunostaining which is used to identify and count DA neurons in whole brain mounts.
This protocol describes a reliable method for anesthetization and imaging of intact Drosophila melanogaster larvae. We have utilized the volatile anesthetic desflurane to allow for repetitive imaging at sub-cellular resolution and re-identification of structures for up to a few days1.
Insect hemocytes carry out many important functions, both immune and non-immune, throughout all stages of insect development. Our present knowledge of hemocyte types and function comes from studies on insect genetic models. Here, we present a method for extracting, quantifying and visualizing hemocytes from wild caterpillars.
In this article we demonstrate how to dissect the central nervous system from third instar Drosophila larvae.
Analysis of Gene Expression in Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Using Quantitative Real Time-PCR
Quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) is an effective tool to diagnose mRNA levels in different insect tissues and developmental stages. In this report we show the use of qRT-PCR to ascertain mRNA levels in different larval tissues and developmental stages of the invasive insect species, emerald ash borer.
Live Cell Cycle Analysis of Drosophila Tissues using the Attune Acoustic Focusing Cytometer and Vybrant DyeCycle Violet DNA Stain
A protocol for cell cycle analysis of live Drosophila tissues using the Attune Acoustic Focusing Cytometer is described. This protocol simultaneously provides information about relative cell size, cell number, DNA content and cell type via lineage tracing or tissue specific expression of fluorescent proteins in vivo.
We demonstrate the use of a constant-force extensometer to measure long-term extension (creep) of plant cell wall specimens induced by acidic buffers and expansin protein.
Invertebrates show an autonomic sympathetic-like response similar to that described for vertebrates. The coordination of the cardio-vascular and ventilatory systems allows for measurement of a biological index in which to assess an organism internal state.
Here we describe a basic protocol for fluorescent labeling of different elements of heart tubes from larva and adult Drosophila melanogaster. These specimens are well-suited for imaging via fluorescent or confocal microscopy. This technique permits detailed structural analysis of the features of the hearts from a powerful model organism.
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
This article demonstrates how to conduct electrophysiological recordings of synaptic responses on the extensor muscle in the walking leg of a crayfish and how the nerve terminals are visualized to show the gross morphological differences of high- and low-output nerve terminals.
Here are some highlights from the January 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
In this report we demonstrate techniques that can be used to investigate the biology of the crayfish hindgut. We show how to dissect a crayfish abdomen and study the associated anatomy, physiology and modulation of activity. The peristaltic activity and strength of contractions are measured using a force transducer.
We use a closed-loop fly-machine interface to investigate general principles in neuronal control.
Multi-unit Recording Methods to Characterize Neural Activity in the Locust (Schistocerca Americana) Olfactory Circuits
We demonstrate variations of the extracellular multi-unit recording technique to characterize odor-evoked responses in the first three stages of the invertebrate olfactory pathway. These techniques can easily be adapted to examine ensemble activity in other neural systems as well.
1Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine (UCI), 2Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of California, Irvine (UCI)
Reverse genetic approaches have proven extremely useful for determining which genes underly resistance to vector pathogens in mosquitoes. This video protocol illustrates a method used by the James lab to inject dsRNA into female A. aegypti mosquitoes, which harbor the dengue virus. The technique for calibrating injection needles, manipulating the injection setup, and injecting dsRNA into the thorax is illustrated.
The model organism C. elegans uses pseudocoelomic fluid as a passive circulatory system. Direct assay of this fluid has not been previously possible. Here we present a novel technique to directly assay the extracellular space, and use systemic silencing signals during an RNAi response as a proof of principle example.
Antibody staining of the Drosophila pupae can enhance genetic analyses of adult abdominal developmental genetics. We present our protocol for dissection, fixation and antibody staining of staged Drosophila pupal abdomen.
This technique exposes the Drosophila embryonic neuromusculature for immunohistochemistry or electrophysiological recording. It is useful for studying early events in neuromuscular development or performing electrophysiology in mutants that cannot hatch.
This video demonstrates the preparation of primary neuronal cultures from the brains of late stage Drosophila pupae. Views of live cultures show neurite outgrowth and imaging of calcium levels using Fura-2.
This protocol demonstrates how to perform immunohistochemistry on dissected Drosophila larva.
Among the three mosquito genera, namely Anopheles, Aedes, and Culex, physical genome mapping techniques were established only for Anopheles, whose members possess readable polytene chromosomes. For the genera of Aedes and Culex, however, cytogenetic mapping remains challenging because of the poor quality of polytene chromosomes. Here we present a universal protocol for obtaining high-quality preparations of mitotic chromosomes and an optimized FISH protocol for all three genera of mosquitoes.
1Development and Aging Program, The Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 2Cardiac Electrophysiology Group, Dept. of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, The Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 3Biology Department and Heart Institute, San Diego State University
We have developed a Semi-automated Optical Heartbeat Analysis method (SOHA) for analyzing high speed optical recordings from Drosophila, zebrafish and embryonic mouse hearts. We demonstrate the application of our methodology to the analysis of heart function in fruit fly and embryonic mouse hearts.
This protocol discusses the live dissection of Drosophila larvae for the purpose of imaging the movement of GFP tagged axonal vesicles on microtubule tracks.
The limiting factor in the use of the adult Drosophila eye to study neurodegeneration and cell biology is the difficult imaging of intracellular processes. We describe the dissection of single ommatidia to generate a bona-fide primary neuronal cell culture, which can be subject to drug treatment and advanced imaging.
The Giant Fiber System is a simple neuronal circuit of adult Drosophila melanogaster containing the largest neurons in the fly. We describe the protocol for monitoring synaptic transmission through this pathway by recording post synaptic potentials in dorsal longitudinal (DLM) and tergotrochanteral (TTM) muscles following direct stimulation of the Giant Fiber interneurons.
Morphological Analysis of Drosophila Larval Peripheral Sensory Neuron Dendrites and Axons Using Genetic Mosaics
The dendritic arborization sensory neurons of the Drosophila larval peripheral nervous system are useful models to elucidate both general and neuron class-specific mechanisms of neuron differentiation. We present a practical guide to generate and analyze dendritic arborization neuron genetic mosaics.
A Simple Method for Imaging Arabidopsis Leaves Using Perfluorodecalin as an Infiltrative Imaging Medium
We describe the use of perfluorodecalin as an infiltrative mounting medium. This is a simple method for improving depth of imaging in Arabidopsis thaliana leaf tissue with minimal physiological impact.