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Postembryonic lineages of the Drosophila ventral nervous system: Neuroglian expression reveals the adult hemilineage associated fiber tracts in the adult thoracic neuromeres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

David Shepherd, Robin Harris, Darren W. Williams, James W. Truman

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2677-2695
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

King's Authors


During larval life most of the thoracic neuroblasts (NBs) in Drosophila undergo a second phase of neurogenesis to generate adult-specific neurons that remain in an immature, developmentally stalled state until pupation. Using a combination of MARCM and immunostaining with a neurotactin antibody, Truman et al. (2004; Development 131:5167–5184) identified 24 adult-specific NB lineages within each thoracic hemineuromere of the larval ventral nervous system (VNS), but because of the neurotactin labeling of lineage tracts disappearing early in metamorphosis, they were unable extend the identification of these lineages into the adult. Here we show that immunostaining with an antibody against the cell adhesion molecule neuroglian reveals the same larval secondary lineage projections through metamorphosis and bfy identifying each neuroglian-positive tract at selected stages we have traced the larval hemilineage tracts for all three thoracic neuromeres through metamorphosis into the adult. To validate tract identifications we used the genetic toolkit developed by Harris et al. (2015; Elife 4) to preserve hemilineage-specific GAL4 expression patterns from larval into the adult stage. The immortalized expression proved a powerful confirmation of the analysis of the neuroglian scaffold. This work has enabled us to directly link the secondary, larval NB lineages to their adult counterparts. The data provide an anatomical framework that 1) makes it possible to assign most neurons to their parent lineage and 2) allows more precise definitions of the neuronal organization of the adult VNS based in developmental units/rules. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2677–2695, 2016.

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