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.
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.
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.
This procedure uses a blue light-activated algal channel and cell-specific genetic expression tools to evoke synaptic potentials with light pulses at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in Drosophila larvae. This technique is an inexpensive and easy-to-use alternative to suction electrode stimulation for synaptic physiology studies in research and teaching laboratories.
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 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.
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.
This protocol demonstrates how to perform immunohistochemistry on dissected Drosophila larva.
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.
This protocol demonstrates how to dissect Drosophila larvae in preparation for immunohistochemistry and/or imaging of the neuromuscular junction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FM dyes have been of invaluable help in the understanding of synaptic dynamics. FMs are normally followed under the fluorescent microscope during different stimulation conditions. However, photoconversion of FM dyes combined with electron microscopy allows the visualization of distinct synaptic vesicle pools, among other ultrastructure components, in synaptic boutons.
A method to immunostain and visualize chordotonal organs in larvae and pupae of Drosophila melanogaster is described.
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.
A simple microfluidic device has been developed to perform anesthetic free in vivo imaging of C. elegans, intact Drosophila larvae and zebrafish larvae. The device utilizes a deformable PDMS membrane to immobilize these model organisms in order to perform time lapse imaging of numerous processes such as heart beat, cell division and sub-cellular neuronal transport. We demonstrate the use of this device and show examples of different types of data collected from different model systems.
Drosophila melanogaster is a genetically and behaviorally tractable model system that has been used to understand the molecular and cellular basis of many important biological processes for over a century 1. Drosophila has been well exploited to gain insights into the genetic basis of fly behavior.
Calcium is a ubiquitous messenger in the nervous system, essential for triggering neurotransmitter release and changes in synaptic strength. Here we demonstrate a technique for loading Ca2+-indicators into Drosophila nerve terminals. We also demonstrate fabrication of the required apparatus and emphasize points critical for the technique's success.
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.
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.
We present a technique for labeling single neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) of Drosophila embryos, which allows the analysis of neuronal morphology by either transmitted light or confocal microscopy.
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.
Early development of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is characterized by a number of cell shape changes that are well suited for imaging approaches. This article will describe basic tools and methods required for live confocal imaging of Drosophila embryos, and will focus on a cell shape change called cellularization.
Oral and intra haemocolic infection of larvae of the greater wax moth Galleria mellonella is described. This insect can be used to study virulence factors of entomopathogenic as well as mammalian opportunistic bacteria. Rearing of the insects, methods of infection and examples of in vivo analysis are described.
Quantitative Comparison of cis-Regulatory Element (CRE) Activities in Transgenic Drosophila melanogaster
Phenotypic variation for traits can result from mutations in cis-regulatory element (CRE) sequences that control gene expression patterns. Methods derived for use in Drosophila melanogaster can quantitatively compare the levels of spatial and temporal patterns of gene expression mediated by modified or naturally occurring CRE variants.
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.
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).
Here are some highlights from the March 2012 Issue of Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE).
An injury paradigm using the Drosophila larval ventral nerve cord to investigate central nervous system regeneration and repair is described. Stabbing followed by laser scanning confocal microscopy in time-lapse and fixed specimens, combined with quantitative analysis with purposefully developed software and genetics, are used to investigate the molecular mechanisms of CNS regeneration and repair.
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.
Behavior assays for measuring locomotor functions, learning, and memory abilities in Drosophila.
In situ patch clamp recordings are used for electrophysiological characterization of neurons in intact circuitry. In the Drosophila genetic model patch clamping is difficult because the CNS is small and surrounded by a robust sheath. This article describes the procedure to remove the sheath and clean neurons for subsequent patch clamp recordings.
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.
1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2Scholars Academy/MARC Scholar, University of Houston-Downtown, 3Genes and Development Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 4Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
In this article, we demonstrate assays to study thermal nociception in Drosophila larvae. One assay involves spatially-restricted (local) stimulation of thermal nociceptors1,2 while the second involves a wholesale (global) activation of most or all such neurons3. Together, these techniques allow visualization and quantification of the behavioral functions of Drosophila nociceptive sensory neurons.
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.
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.
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).
We describe the procedure to prepare staged Drosophila embryos for the visualization of the embryonic nervous system during embryogenesis.
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.
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.
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.
In this article we demonstrate how to dissect the central nervous system from third instar Drosophila larvae.
Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
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.