Methods in Molecular Biology™ Volume 475, 2008, pp 263-274

Live Imaging of Drosophila Myoblast Fusion

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Myoblast fusion requires a number of cellular behaviors, including cell migration, recognition, and adhesion, as well as a series of subcellular behaviors, such as cytoskeletal rearrangements, vesicle trafficking, and membrane dynamics, leading to two cells becoming one. With the discovery of fluorescent proteins that can be introduced and studied within living cells, the possibility of monitoring these complex processes within the living embryo is now a reality. Live imaging, unlike imaging techniques for fixed embryos, allows the opportunity to visualize and measure the dynamics of these processes in vivo. This chapter describes the development and use of live imaging techniques to study myoblast fusion in Drosophila.