Cell culture of individual Drosophila embryos. I. Development of wild-type cultures

J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1978 Jun;45:161-72.


A new procedure is described for the preparation of in vitro cell cultures from individual early gastrulae of Drosophila melanogaster. In these cultures several identifiable cell types differentiate within 24 h (nerve, muscle, fat-body, haemocyte and chitin-secreting); their initial appearance and continuing development over a period of weeks is described. It is proposed that this technique may be used to analyse abnormalities of cellular development in embryonic lethal mutants. Culture in vitro of cells from lethal embryos is seen to have two broad roles: (1) to test the developmental capacity of individual cell types in a situation where they are relatively free from possible deleterious interactions with other cell types and are liberated from the system of the dying embryo, and (2) through the preparation of mixed cultures from normal and mutant embryos, to determine the influence of the presence of wild-type cells on observed abnormalities of a particular cell type.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Genes, Lethal
  • Hemocytes / cytology
  • Muscles / cytology
  • Muscles / embryology
  • Mutation
  • Neurons / cytology