The mushroom body of adult Drosophila characterized by GAL4 drivers

J Neurogenet. 2009;23(1-2):156-72. doi: 10.1080/01677060802471718. Epub 2009 Jan 10.


The mushroom body is required for a variety of behaviors of Drosophila melanogaster. Different types of intrinsic and extrinsic mushroom body neurons might underlie its functional diversity. There have been many GAL4 driver lines identified that prominently label the mushroom body intrinsic neurons, which are known as "Kenyon cells." Under one constant experimental condition, we analyzed and compared the the expression patterns of 25 GAL4 drivers labeling the mushroom body. As an internet resource, we established a digital catalog indexing representative confocal data of them. Further more, we counted the number of GAL4-positive Kenyon cells in each line. We found that approximately 2,000 Kenyon cells can be genetically labeled in total. Three major Kenyon cell subtypes, the gamma, alpha'/beta', and alpha/beta neurons, respectively, contribute to 33, 18, and 49% of 2,000 Kenyon cells. Taken together, this study lays groundwork for functional dissection of the mushroom body.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cell Count
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Databases, Factual
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Mushroom Bodies / cytology*
  • Mushroom Bodies / metabolism
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / metabolism
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GAL4 protein, S cerevisiae
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Transcription Factors