Persistent larval sensory neurons in adult Drosophila melanogaster

J Neurobiol. 1999 May;39(2):275-86.


Using a combination of lineage tracing and laser ablation, we have identified a segmentally repeated array of embryonically produced sensory neurons that persist through metamorphosis into adult stages of Drosophila development. The persistent sensory neurons are found in all unfused abdominal segments, but there is segment-specific variation in the number of neurons observed. There are 12 persistent neurons in the first abdominal segment (A1), 18 in the second (A2), and 16 in segments A3-A7. Most are internal sensory neurons (dendritic arborization neurons and bipolar dendrite neurons), but two are associated with external sensilla on the sternite. All of these neurons and their axons define specific adult sensory pathways in the periphery and their locations and persistence through metamorphosis suggest a role in guiding the growth of adult sensory and motor axons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Axotomy
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development*
  • Larva / cytology
  • Larva / physiology
  • Lasers
  • Metamorphosis, Biological / physiology
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / ultrastructure
  • Peripheral Nervous System / cytology
  • Peripheral Nervous System / growth & development