Neural lineages of the Drosophila brain: a three-dimensional digital atlas of the pattern of lineage location and projection at the late larval stage

Wayne Pereanu, Volker Hartenstein
Journal of Neuroscience 2006 May 17, 26 (20): 5534-53
The late larval brain consists of embryonically produced primary neurons forming a deep core cortex, surrounded at the surface by approximately 100 secondary lineages. Each secondary lineage forms a tract (secondary lineage tract) with an invariant and characteristic trajectory. Within the neuropile, tracts of neighboring lineages bundle together to form secondary tract systems. In this paper, we visualized secondary lineages by the global marker BP106 (neurotactin), as well as green fluorescent protein-labeled clones and thereby establish a comprehensive digital atlas of secondary lineages. The information contained in this atlas is the location of the lineage within the cortex, the neuropile compartment contacted by the lineage tract, and the projection pattern of the lineage tract within the neuropile. We have digitally mapped the expression pattern of three genes, sine oculis, period, and engrailed into the lineage atlas. The atlas will enable us and others to analyze the phenotype of mutant clones in the larval brain. Mutant clones can only be interpreted if the corresponding wild-type clone is well characterized, and our lineage atlas, which visualizes all wild-type lineages, will provide this information. Secondly, secondary lineage tracts form a scaffold of connections in the neuropile that foreshadows adult nerve connections. Thus, starting from the larval atlas and proceeding forward through pupal development, one will be able to reconstruct adult brain connectivity at a high level of resolution. Third, the atlas can serve as a repository for genes expressed in lineage-specific patterns.

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