Screening assays for heart function mutants in Drosophila

Biotechniques. 2004 Jul;37(1):58-60, 62, 64 passim. doi: 10.2144/04371ST01.


The rapid life cycle and genetic tractability of Drosophila make it an ideal organism for large-scale genetic screens. Here we describe a novel assay for pupal heart rate and rhythmicity as well as techniques to measure adult cardiac stress response. These assays can be powerfully combined to concurrently screen for both mutations affecting cardiac function and mutations affecting the age-dependent decline in adult cardiac stress response. Mutations identified in such screens have the potential to contribute greatly to the understanding of both congenital heart disease and the regulation of age-dependent decline in cardiac function in the human population.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Heart Rate
  • Mutation*
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology