Localized heat-shock induction in Drosophila melanogaster

J Exp Zool. 1988 Sep;247(3):279-84. doi: 10.1002/jez.1402470312.


We describe a technique for inducing localized expression of genes fused to heat-shock gene promoters. We demonstrate that a localized heat-shock response can be induced in Drosophila melanogaster at any developmental stage after formation of the cellular blastoderm by contacting a region of the animal with a heated needle. The size of the induced region can be altered by varying parameters such as the temperature and size of the needle tip. The test system utilized here is a D. melanogaster strain transformed with a fusion of the Drosophila hsp26 gene and the E. coli lacZ gene; the activity of this hybrid gene is monitored in whole animals by staining for beta-galactosidase activity. Induced beta-galactosidase activity is confined to the cells in the region of heating; the beta-galactosidase activity can still be detected 48 hr after the heat shock. Given the heat inducibility of Drosophila heat-shock promoters in heterologous systems, we suggest that this technique will be useful for allowing spatially controlled induction of a gene of interest in any organism into which fusion genes can be introduced. Additional uses of the technique for following cell movements during development are discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cloning, Molecular*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / genetics*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Micromanipulation
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • beta-Galactosidase / biosynthesis
  • beta-Galactosidase / genetics


  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • beta-Galactosidase