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Glia. 2011 Sep;59(9):1377-86. doi: 10.1002/glia.21133. Epub 2011 Feb 8.

New tools for the analysis of glial cell biology in Drosophila.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurobiology, University of Massachusetts, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. awasakit@ janelia.hhmi.org

Abstract

Because of its genetic, molecular, and behavioral tractability, Drosophila has emerged as a powerful model system for studying molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development and function of nervous systems. The Drosophila nervous system has fewer neurons and exhibits a lower glia:neuron ratio than is seen in vertebrate nervous systems. Despite the simplicity of the Drosophila nervous system, glial organization in flies is as sophisticated as it is in vertebrates. Furthermore, fly glial cells play vital roles in neural development and behavior. In addition, powerful genetic tools are continuously being created to explore cell function in vivo. In taking advantage of these features, the fly nervous system serves as an excellent model system to study general aspects of glial cell development and function in vivo. In this article, we review and discuss advanced genetic tools that are potentially useful for understanding glial cell biology in Drosophila.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID:
21305614
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3128189
Free PMC Article

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