Apoptosis Methods and Protocols

Volume 282 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 191-205

Detection of Apoptosis in Drosophila

  • Kimberly McCallAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Boston University
  • , Jeanne S. PetersonAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Boston University

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Drosophila has unique genetic and cell biological advantages as a model system for the study of apoptosis. Many cell death genes are evolutionarily conserved between flies and mammals. Cell death can be induced by environmental stimuli and normally occurs during diverse developmental processes in Drosophila. Here, we review several approaches for detecting cell death in Drosophila. We provide detailed protocols for labeling apoptotic cells in the embryo and ovary using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling and acridine orange. Additionally, we describe methods for ectopically expressing cell death genes in the eye and the use of transgenic flies for the detection of genetic interactions among cell death genes.

Key Words

Drosophila apoptosis TUNEL acridine orange cell death