A guide to study Drosophila muscle biology

Methods. 2014 Jun 15;68(1):2-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ymeth.2014.02.037. Epub 2014 Mar 12.


The development and molecular composition of muscle tissue is evolutionarily conserved. Drosophila is a powerful in vivo model system to investigate muscle morphogenesis and function. Here, we provide a short and comprehensive overview of the important developmental steps to build Drosophila body muscle in embryos, larvae and pupae. We describe key methods, including muscle histology, live imaging and genetics, to study these steps at various developmental stages and include simple behavioural assays to assess muscle function in larvae and adults. We list valuable antibodies and fly strains that can be used for these different methods. This overview should guide the reader to choose the best marker or the appropriate method to obtain high quality muscle morphogenesis data in Drosophila.

Keywords: Development; Dissection; Drosophila; Imaging; Method; Muscle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Developmental Biology / methods*
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila / growth & development*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Larva / genetics
  • Larva / growth & development
  • Muscle Development / genetics*
  • Pupa / genetics
  • Pupa / growth & development