Behavior assays for measuring locomotor functions, learning, and memory abilities in Drosophila.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A simple assay to measure the sedating effects of ethanol on Drosophila flies, based on the loss of righting reflex, is described.
Proboscis extension response or PER is a taste behavior assay that has been used in flies as well as in honeybees. When the proboscis makes contact with an attractive substance, the fly extends its proboscis to consume the substance. Solutions of various sugars are very attractive to the fly.
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.
We describe the first endurance training protocol for an important genetic model species, Drosophila melanogaster, and outline several assays to chart improvements in mobility following training.
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.
The study of complex locomotor behavior in Drosophila melanogaster is dependent upon the ability to quantify changes in a given fly's movement. This article demonstrates how to do this using a high-resolution tracking system.
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.
Using high frequency electrical stimulation, seizure-like activity can be induced in Drosophila. This activity is easily recorded from the giant fiber system.
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.
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.
Fopius arisanus is an egg-larval parasitoid of Tephritid fruit flies that is successfully used in biological control of these important tropical pests. We describe here an optimized protocol for rearing F. arisanus on a small scale using readily available materials.
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.
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.
We use a closed-loop fly-machine interface to investigate general principles in neuronal control.
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.
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).
We describe an established technique to measure and analyze odor-evoked calcium responses in the antennal lobe of living Drosophila melanogaster.
1Department of Neurology, McKnight Brain Institute, University of Florida, 2Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, 3Genetics Institute, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida, 4McKnight Brain Institute, Department of Neuroscience, Genetics Institute, Center for Translational Research on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, University of Florida
We describe here the procedures for the extraction and purification of mRNA and metabolites from Drosophila heads. We are applying these techniques to better understand the cellular perturbations underlying neuronal degeneration. These methodologies can be easily scaled and adapted for other "omic" projects.
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.
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.
Technique required for visualizing the beating heart in larval and adult Drosophila are presented. Each life stage requires a different methodology.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
A protocol for live imaging of GFP-tagged proteins or autofluorescent structures in individual Drosophila oocytes is described.
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.
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 Drosophila egg chamber is an excellent model for studying the mechanisms of mRNA localization. In order to capture the dynamic events that underpin the processes of localization, rapid high resolution imaging of live tissue is required. Here, we present a protocol for dissection and imaging of live samples with minimal disruption.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We provide a detailed protocol for preparing primary cells dissociated from Drosophila embryos. The ability to carry out the effective RNAi perturbation, together with other molecular, biochemical and cell imaging methods will allow a variety of questions to be addressed in Drosophila primary cells.
This article describes a method by which one can mimic in vivo development of the Drosophila mushroom body in an ex vivo culture system.
We describe a method to separate organelles by density in living Drosophila embryos. Embryos are embedded in agar and centrifuged. This technique yields reproducible separation of major organelles along the anterior-posterior embryo axis. This method facilitates colocalization experiments and yields organelle fractions for biochemical analysis and transplantation experiments.
Live Dissection of Drosophila Embryos: Streamlined Methods for Screening Mutant Collections by Antibody Staining
We describe a streamlined protocol for generating "fillet" preparations of Drosophila embryos of specific genotypes. This protocol allows efficient execution of a variety of genetic screens. It also allows excellent visualization of structures in the late embryo.
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.