The Drosophila neural lineages: a model system to study brain development and circuitry

Dev Genes Evol. 2010 Jun;220(1-2):1-10. doi: 10.1007/s00427-010-0323-7. Epub 2010 Mar 20.


In Drosophila, neurons of the central nervous system are grouped into units called lineages. Each lineage contains cells derived from a single neuroblast. Due to its clonal nature, the Drosophila brain is a valuable model system to study neuron development and circuit formation. To better understand the mechanisms underlying brain development, genetic manipulation tools can be utilized within lineages to visualize, knock down, or over-express proteins. Here, we will introduce the formation and development of lineages, discuss how one can utilize this model system, offer a comprehensive list of known lineages and their respective markers, and then briefly review studies that have utilized Drosophila neural lineages with a look at how this model system can benefit future endeavors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage*
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Drosophila / cytology*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology