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.
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