Power tools for gene expression and clonal analysis in Drosophila

Nat Methods. 2011 Dec 28;9(1):47-55. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.1800.


The development of two-component expression systems in Drosophila melanogaster, one of the most powerful genetic models, has allowed the precise manipulation of gene function in specific cell populations. These expression systems, in combination with site-specific recombination approaches, have also led to the development of new methods for clonal lineage analysis. We present a hands-on user guide to the techniques and approaches that have greatly increased resolution of genetic analysis in the fly, with a special focus on their application for lineage analysis. Our intention is to provide guidance and suggestions regarding which genetic tools are most suitable for addressing different developmental questions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Lineage
  • Clonal Evolution
  • Clone Cells / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / physiology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Gene Expression*
  • Genetic Techniques
  • Serine Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / physiology
  • Transgenes / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • GAL4 protein, Drosophila
  • LexA protein, Bacteria
  • Transcription Factors
  • Serine Endopeptidases