FlpStop, a tool for conditional gene control in Drosophila

Elife. 2017 Feb 17;6:e22279. doi: 10.7554/eLife.22279.


Manipulating gene function cell type-specifically is a common experimental goal in Drosophila research and has been central to studies of neural development, circuit computation, and behavior. However, current cell type-specific gene disruption techniques in flies often reduce gene activity incompletely or rely on cell division. Here we describe FlpStop, a generalizable tool for conditional gene disruption and rescue in post-mitotic cells. In proof-of-principle experiments, we manipulated apterous, a regulator of wing development. Next, we produced conditional null alleles of Glutamic acid decarboxylase 1 (Gad1) and Resistant to dieldrin (Rdl), genes vital for GABAergic neurotransmission, as well as cacophony (cac) and paralytic (para), voltage-gated ion channels central to neuronal excitability. To demonstrate the utility of this approach, we manipulated cac in a specific visual interneuron type and discovered differential regulation of calcium signals across subcellular compartments. Thus, FlpStop will facilitate investigations into the interactions between genes, circuits, and computation.

Keywords: D. melanogaster; apterous; chromosomes; conditional gene disruption; conditional gene rescue; genes; neuroscience; voltage-gated calcium channels.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Channels / genetics
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Drosophila Proteins / genetics
  • Entomology / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Targeting / methods*
  • Molecular Biology / methods*
  • Sodium Channels / genetics


  • Calcium Channels
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Sodium Channels
  • cac protein, Drosophila
  • para protein, Drosophila