Generation of Genome-wide Chromatin Conformation Capture Libraries from Tightly Staged Early Drosophila Embryos

J Vis Exp. 2018 Oct 3;(140):57001. doi: 10.3791/57001.


Investigating the three-dimensional architecture of chromatin offers invaluable insight into the mechanisms of gene regulation. Here, we describe a protocol for performing the chromatin conformation capture technique in situ Hi-C on staged Drosophila melanogaster embryo populations. The result is a sequencing library that allows the mapping of all chromatin interactions that occur in the nucleus in a single experiment. Embryo sorting is done manually using a fluorescent stereo microscope and a transgenic fly line containing a nuclear marker. Using this technique, embryo populations from each nuclear division cycle, and with defined cell cycle status, can be obtained with very high purity. The protocol may also be adapted to sort older embryos beyond gastrulation. Sorted embryos are used as inputs for in situ Hi-C. All experiments, including sequencing library preparation, can be completed in five days. The protocol has low input requirements and works reliably using 20 blastoderm stage embryos as input material. The end result is a sequencing library for next generation sequencing. After sequencing, the data can be processed into genome-wide chromatin interaction maps that can be analyzed using a wide range of available tools to gain information about topologically associating domain (TAD) structure, chromatin loops, and chromatin compartments during Drosophila development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • Chromatin / chemistry*
  • Chromatin / genetics*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Gene Library*
  • Genomics*
  • Protein Conformation


  • Chromatin