Lineage, migration, and morphogenesis of longitudinal glia in the Drosophila CNS as revealed by a molecular lineage marker

Neuron. 1989 Jun;2(6):1625-31. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(89)90051-2.


Previous studies described three different classes of glial cells in the developing CNS of the early Drosophila embryo that prefigure and ensheath the major CNS axon tracts. Among these are 6 longitudinal glial cells on each side of each segment that overlie the longitudinal axon tracts. Here we use transformant lines carrying a P element containing a 130 bp sequence from the fushi tarazu gene in front of the lacZ reporter gene to direct beta-galactosidase expression in the longitudinal glia. Using this molecular lineage marker, we show that 1 of the "neuroblasts" in each hemisegment is actually a glioblast, which divides once symmetrically, in contrast to the typical asymmetric neuroblast divisions, producing 2 glial cells, which migrate medially and divide to generate the 6 longitudinal glial cells. As with neuroblasts, mutations in Notch and other neurogenic genes lead to supernumerary glioblasts. The results indicate that the glioblast is similar to other neuroblasts; however, the positionally specified fate of this blast cell is to generate a specific lineage of glia rather than a specific family of neurons.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Morphogenesis
  • Mutation
  • Neuroglia / analysis
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / analysis
  • Stem Cells / analysis
  • Stem Cells / cytology*


  • Biomarkers
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins