Behavior assays for measuring locomotor functions, learning, and memory abilities in Drosophila.
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.
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.
Identification of mechanisms underlying muscle damage is crucial. Here we present the histological technique for preparing paraffin-embedded and frozen sections of Drosophila thoracic muscles. This allows analysis of muscle morphology and localization of protein and other muscle cell components.
1NMR Surgical Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Shriners Burn Institute, 3Department of Radiology, Athinoula A. Martinos Center of Biomedical Imaging, Harvard Medical School, 4Molecular Surgery Laboratory, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
This technique enables the use of high-resolution magic angle spinning proton MR spectroscopy (HRMAS 1H-MRS) for molecular characterization of live Drosophila melanogaster with a conventional 14.1 tesla spectrometer equipped with an HRMAS probe.
Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful model organism for exploring the molecular basis of longevity regulation. This protocol will discuss the steps involved in generating a reproducible, population-based measurement of longevity as well as potential pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Electrophysiological responses of olfactory sensory neurons to odorants can be measured in insects using single sensillum recordings. In this video article we will demonstrate how to perform single sensillum recordings in the antennae of the vinegar fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and the maxillary palps of the malaria mosquito (Anopheles gambiae).
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.
We present various ways to monitor heart function in the larva of Drosophila for assessing questions dealing with the function of gap junctions, ion channel mutations, modulation of pacemaker activity and pharmacological studies.
Here are some highlights from the March 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Novel host factors involved in viral infection can be identified through cell-based genome-wide loss of function RNAi screening. A Drosophila cell culture model is particularly amenable to this approach due to the ease and efficiency of RNAi. Here we demonstrate this technique using vaccinia virus as an example.
Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
Measuring the yaw torque of tethered Drosophila with the torque meter allows the neuroscientist exquisite control of the stimulus situation of the experimental animal. Together with the unique genetic tools available in the fruit fly, this paradigm is used for a wide variety of neurobiological research.
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.
We describe the procedure to prepare staged Drosophila embryos for the visualization of the embryonic nervous system during embryogenesis.
1Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Rutgers University, 2Current Address: Department of Entomology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of California, Davis, 3Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Rutgers University
We describe procedures for recording daily locomotor activity rhythms of Drosophila and subsequent data analysis. Locomotor activity rhythms are a reliable behavioral output of animal circadian clocks and are used as the standard readout of clock function when studying circadian mutants or examining how the environment regulates the circadian system.
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.
Drosophila hemocytes disperse over the entirety of the developing embryo. This protocol demonstrates how to mount and image these migrations using embryos with fluorescently labelled hemocytes.
The main highlights for our May issue include methods for measuring cognition in zero gravity, isolating mosquito immune cells, engineering recombinant SARS vaccines, and detecting tumors with thermal imaging. In addition, procedures for isolating neural stem cells from human fetal brain and culturing antigen-presenting liver cells will also be released.
Here are some highlights from the June 2011 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
Genetically encoded optogenetic tools enable noninvasive manipulation of specific neurons in the Drosophila brain. Such tools can identify neurons whose activation is sufficient to elicit or suppress particular behaviors. Here we present a method for activating Channelrhodopsin2 that is expressed in targeted neurons in freely walking flies.
A protocol for live imaging of GFP-tagged proteins or autofluorescent structures in individual Drosophila oocytes is described.
This protocol demonstrates how to perform immunohistochemistry on dissected Drosophila larva.
Drosophila Schneider (S2) cells are an increasingly popular system for the discovery and functional analysis of genes. Our goal is to describe some of the microscopic techniques that make S2 cells such an increasingly important experimental system.
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.
Drosophila melanogaster testes can be rapidly and efficiently isolated from adult males using dissecting needles. With practice, one can readily isolate in one or two days an amount of testes sufficient for the analysis of DNA or RNA by high throughput sequencing or more traditional molecular biology methods or of protein for antibody- or enzyme-based assays.
Here we describe how to tether a fly in an olfactory magnetic-tether (OMT) apparatus. We describe how to align the rare-earth magnets and odor ports, and how to set mass flow rates for both the stimulus delivery and vacuum suction to achieve optimal odor tracking.
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.
To understand a link between the immune response and behavior, we describe a method to measure locomotor behavior in Drosophila during bacterial infection as well as the ability of flies to mount an immune response by monitoring survival, bacterial load, and real-time activity of a key regulator of innate immunity, NFκB.
Here we describe how to optimize the acquired video image for an olfactory magnetic-tether (OMT) apparatus. We also describe two sample experimental protocols for studying visuo-olfactory fusion.
Here we describe a protocol to examine the migration of glial cells into the developing Drosophila eye using live microscopic analysis paired with GFP tagged glial cells.
Drosophila larvae are able to associate odor stimuli with gustatory reward. Here we describe a simple behavioral paradigm that allows the analysis of appetitive associative olfactory learning.
Studying Mitotic Checkpoint by Illustrating Dynamic Kinetochore Protein Behavior and Chromosome Motion in Living Drosophila Syncytial Embryos
The kinetochore is where the SAC initiates its signal monitoring the mitotic segregation of the sister chromatids. A method is described to visualize the recruitment and turnover of one of the kinetochore proteins and its coordination with the chromosome motion in Drosophila embryos using a Leica laser scanning confocal system.
1Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 2Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI), Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Center Munich, 3Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Mesoscopic fluorescence tomography operates beyond the penetration limits of tissue-sectioning fluorescence microscopy. The technique is based on multi-projection illumination and a photon transport description. We demonstrate in-vivo whole-body 3D visualization of the morphogenesis of GFP-expressing wing imaginal discs in Drosophila melanogaster.
Experimental Manipulation of Body Size to Estimate Morphological Scaling Relationships in Drosophila
Morphological scaling relationships capture and describe organismal shape. We present a method to measure morphological scaling relationships across the natural range of body sizes in fully metamorphic insects. Using a simple diet manipulation we increase the distribution of trait sizes, permitting the accurate description of how shape and size co-vary.
Paired Nanoinjection and Electrophysiology Assay to Screen for Bioactivity of Compounds using the Drosophila melanogaster Giant Fiber System
A rapid in vivo assay to test for neuromodulatory compounds using the Giant Fiber System (GFS) of Drosophila melanogaster is described. Nanoinjections in the head of the animal along with electrophysiological recordings of the GFS can reveal bioactivity of compounds on neurons or muscles.
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.
Electrophysiological recordings from Drosophila embryos allow analyses of developing muscle and neuron electrical properties, as well as characterization of functional synaptogenesis at the glutamatergic neuromuscular junction and central cholinergic and GABAergic synapses.
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.
Insulin Injection and Hemolymph Extraction to Measure Insulin Sensitivity in Adult Drosophila melanogaster
Conserved insulin signaling pathways found in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster make this organism a potential tool for modeling metabolic disorders including type II diabetes. To this end, it is critical to establish physiological assays to effectively measure systemic insulin action in peripheral glucose disposal in the adult fly.
Recently high-throughput sequencing technology has greatly increased sensitivity of Chromatin Immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiment and prompted its application using purified cells or dissected tissue. Here we delineate a method to use ChIP technique with Drosophila tissue, which can address the endogenous chromatin state in a well-characterized biological system.
An in vivo dissection of the adult Drosophila ventral nerve cord (VNC) is demonstrated. This particular dissection method causes little damage to the VNC allowing the subsequent labeling of the giant fiber neurons with fluorescent dye for high resolution imaging.
This is a protocol to isolate active full length Kinesin from Drosophila embryos for single-molecule biophysical studies. We show how to collect embryos, make the embryo lysate, and then polymerize microtubules (MTs). Kinesin is purified by immobilizing it on the MTs, spinning down the Kinesin-MT complexes, and then releasing the kinesin from the MTs via ATP addition.
Here we describe electrophysiological methods for measuring synaptic transmission at the neuromuscular junction of Drosophila larva. Evoked release is initiated artificially by stimulating the motor neuron axons, and transmission through the NMJ can be measured by the postsynaptic response evoked in the muscle.
This protocol demonstrates how to dissect Drosophila larvae in preparation for immunohistochemistry and/or imaging of the neuromuscular junction.
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
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.
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.
Here we describe a light-dark preference test for Drosophila larva. This assay provides information about innate and circadian regulation of light sensing and processing photobehavior.
This protocol describes the use of microinjection and high resolution imaging in the Drosophila melanogaster syncytial embryo to study mitosis.