Transgenic tools for members of the genus Drosophila with sequenced genomes

Fly (Austin). Oct-Dec 2010;4(4):349-62. doi: 10.4161/fly.4.4.13304. Epub 2010 Oct 1.


The sequencing of the genomes of 12 Drosophila species has created an opportunity for much in the way of comparative molecular analyses amongst these species. To aid that endeavor, we have made several transformation vectors based on the piggyBac transposon with 3xP3-EGFP and -ECFP transgenic markers that should be useful for mutagenesis and establishing the GAL4/UAS system in these species. We have tested the ability of mini-white to be used as a marker for insertional mutagenesis, and have observed mini-white derived pigmentation of the testes sheath in a subset of lines from D. pseudoobscura and D. virilis. We have incorporated a source of piggyBac transposase into nine Drosophila species, and have demonstrated the functionality of these transposase lines for mobilization of marked inserts in vivo. Additionally, we tested the ability of a D. melanogaster nanos enhancer element to drive expression of GAL4 in D. melanogaster, D. simulans, D. erecta, D. yakuba, D. pseudoobscura, and D. virilis. The efficacy of the nos-Gal4 transgene was determined by measuring the response of UAS-EGFPtub in all six species. Our results show that D. melanogaster nos-Gal4 drives expression in other species, to varying degrees, in similar spatiotemporal domains in the ovaries, testes, and embryos as seen in D. melanogaster. However, expression levels are variable, demonstrating the possible need to use species-specific promoters in some cases. In summary, we hope to provide a set of guidelines and basic tools, based upon this work, for both insertional mutagenesis and GAL4/UAS system-based experiments in multiple species of Drosophila.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified*
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Genome, Insect*
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional / methods
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Transgenes


  • DNA Transposable Elements