Detecting apoptosis in Drosophila tissues and cells

Methods. 2014 Jun 15;68(1):89-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.02.033. Epub 2014 Mar 6.


In this chapter we discuss methods that can be used to study apoptotic cell death in the Drosophila embryo, ovary, as well as in cultured cell lines. These methods assay various aspects of the cell death process, from mitochondrial changes to caspase activation and DNA cleavage. The assays are useful for examining apoptosis in normal development and in response to developmental perturbations and external stresses. These techniques include Acridine Orange staining, TUNEL, cleaved caspase staining, caspase activity assays and assays for mitochondrial fission and permeabilization.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Caspase; Drosophila; TUNEL.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / genetics*
  • Caspases / metabolism
  • Developmental Biology / methods*
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Mitochondria / genetics
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Permeability


  • Caspases