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Open Biol. 2019 Jun 28;9(6):190087. doi: 10.1098/rsob.190087. Epub 2019 Jun 26.

Adult Drosophila muscle morphometry through microCT reveals dynamics during ageing.

Author information

1
1 National Center for Biological Sciences, TIFR , GKVK Campus, Bellary Road, Bengaluru 560065 , India.
2
2 microCT and EM Facility, National Center for Biological Sciences, TIFR , GKVK Campus, Bellary Road, Bengaluru 560065 , India.
3
3 Manipal Academy of Higher Education , Manipal, Karnataka 576104 , India.

Abstract

Indirect flight muscles (IFMs) in adult Drosophila provide the key power stroke for wing beating. They also serve as a valuable model for studying muscle development. An age-dependent decline in Drosophila free flight has been documented, but its relation to gross muscle structure has not yet been explored satisfactorily. Such analyses are impeded by conventional histological preparations and imaging techniques that limit exact morphometry of flight muscles. In this study, we employ microCT scanning on a tissue preparation that retains muscle morphology under homeostatic conditions. Focusing on a subset of IFMs called the dorsal longitudinal muscles (DLMs), we find that DLM volumes increase with age, partially due to the increased separation between myofibrillar fascicles, in a sex-dependent manner. We have uncovered and quantified asymmetry in the size of these muscles on either side of the longitudinal midline. Measurements of this resolution and scale make substantive studies that test the connection between form and function possible. We also demonstrate the application of this method to other insect species making it a valuable tool for histological analysis of insect biodiversity.

KEYWORDS:

DLM; Drosophila; ageing; microCT; muscle

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