Based on environmental challenges or altered genetic composition, Drosophila larvae can produce up to three types of blood cells that express genetic programs essential for their distinct functions. Using transcriptional enhancers for genes expressed exclusively in plasmatocytes, crystal cells, or lamellocytes, several new hemocyte-specific enhancer-reporter transgenes were generated to facilitate the analysis of Drosophila hematopoiesis. This approach took advantage of fluorescent variants of insulated P-element reporter vectors for multilabeling cell analyses; two additional color variants were generated in these studies. These vectors were successfully used to produce transgenic fly lines that label specific hemocyte lineages with separate colors. Combining three transgene reporters allowed for the unambiguous identification of plasmatocytes, crystal cells, and lamellocytes within a complex hemocyte population. While this work focused on the hematopoietic process, these new vectors can be used to mark multiple cell types or trace complex cell lineages during any chosen aspect of Drosophila development.
(c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.