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Neuron. 1989 Jun;2(6):1625-31.

Lineage, migration, and morphogenesis of longitudinal glia in the Drosophila CNS as revealed by a molecular lineage marker.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


Previous studies described three different classes of glial cells in the developing CNS of the early Drosophila embryo that prefigure and ensheath the major CNS axon tracts. Among these are 6 longitudinal glial cells on each side of each segment that overlie the longitudinal axon tracts. Here we use transformant lines carrying a P element containing a 130 bp sequence from the fushi tarazu gene in front of the lacZ reporter gene to direct beta-galactosidase expression in the longitudinal glia. Using this molecular lineage marker, we show that 1 of the "neuroblasts" in each hemisegment is actually a glioblast, which divides once symmetrically, in contrast to the typical asymmetric neuroblast divisions, producing 2 glial cells, which migrate medially and divide to generate the 6 longitudinal glial cells. As with neuroblasts, mutations in Notch and other neurogenic genes lead to supernumerary glioblasts. The results indicate that the glioblast is similar to other neuroblasts; however, the positionally specified fate of this blast cell is to generate a specific lineage of glia rather than a specific family of neurons.

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