Two-color in vivo imaging of photoreceptor apoptosis and development in Drosophila

Dev Biol. 2011 Mar 1;351(1):128-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2010.12.040. Epub 2011 Jan 4.


We report a new two-color fluorescent imaging system to visualize the mosaic adult photoreceptor neurons (PRs) in real-time. Using this method, we examined a collection of 434 mutants and identified genes required for PR survival, planar cell polarity (PCP), patterning and differentiation. We could track the progression of PR degeneration in living flies. By introducing the expression of p35, a caspase inhibitor, we found mutations that specifically activate caspase-dependent death. Moreover, we showed that grh is required in R3 for correct PCP establishment. The "Tomato/GFP-FLP/FRT" method allows high-throughput, rapid and precise identification of survival and developmental pathways in living adult PRs at single-cell resolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Polarity
  • Cell Survival
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology
  • Fluorescence
  • Mutation
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate / physiology*
  • Transcription Factors / physiology


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • grh protein, Drosophila