Preparation of Drosophila eye specimens for scanning electron microscopy

Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2011 Nov 1;2011(11):1383-5. doi: 10.1101/pdb.prot066506.


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) allows for high-magnification analysis of the external structures of the Drosophila eye. In this article, three methods are provided: one for eyes that are to be critical-point-dried (CPD) and two alternatives if a critical point drier is not available. The major difference between the first method and the other two is a preliminary fixation step. Drosophila eyes have a tendency to collapse when CPD, so fixing the animals before critical point drying improves the yield of good specimens.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / ultrastructure*
  • Entomology / methods*
  • Eye / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning / methods*