Targeted genome engineering techniques in Drosophila

Methods. 2014 Jun 15;68(1):29-37. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2013.12.002. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


For a century, Drosophila has been a favored organism for genetic research. However, the array of materials and methods available to the Drosophila worker has expanded dramatically in the last decade. The most common gene targeting tools, zinc finger nucleases, TALENs, and RNA-guided CRISPR/Cas9, have all been adapted for use in Drosophila, both for simple mutagenesis and for gene editing via homologous recombination. For each tool, there exist a number of web sites, design applications, and delivery methods. The successful application of any of these tools also requires an understanding of methods for detecting successful genome modifications. This article provides an overview of the available gene targeting tools and their application in Drosophila. In lieu of simply providing a protocol for gene targeting, we direct the researcher to resources that will allow access to the latest research in this rapidly evolving field.

Keywords: CRISPR; Drosophila; Gene targeting; Homologous recombination; NHEJ; Nuclease; TALEN; Zinc finger nuclease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Developmental Biology / methods*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Targeting / methods*
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Genome, Insect*
  • Homologous Recombination
  • Zinc Fingers / genetics