Live imaging of Drosophila melanogaster embryonic hemocyte migrations

Iwan R. Evans, Jennifer Zanet, Will Wood, Brian M. Stramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Many studies address cell migration using in vitro methods, whereas the physiologically relevant environment is that of the organism itself. Here we present a protocol for the mounting of Drosophila melanogaster embryos and subsequent live imaging of fluorescently labeled hemocytes, the embryonic macrophages of this organism. Using the Gal4-uas system1 we drive the expression of a variety of genetically encoded, fluorescently tagged markers in hemocytes to follow their developmental dispersal throughout the embryo. Following collection of embryos at the desired stage of development, the outer chorion is removed and the embryos are then mounted in halocarbon oil between a hydrophobic, gas-permeable membrane and a glass coverslip for live imaging. In addition to gross migratory parameters such as speed and directionality, higher resolution imaging coupled with the use of fluorescent reporters of F-action and microtubules can provide more detailed information concerning the dynamics of these cytoskeletal components.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1696
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


  • Action
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Developmental Biology
  • Drosophila
  • Embryo
  • Hemocyte
  • Issue 36
  • Macrophages
  • Melanogaster
  • Microtubules
  • Migration
  • Time-lapse


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