Transcriptome Analysis of Drosophila Neural Stem Cells

  • Katrina S. Gold
  • Andrea H. BrandEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 916)


In Drosophila, the central nervous system is populated by a set of asymmetrically dividing neural stem cells called neuroblasts. Neuroblasts are derived from epithelial or neuroepithelial precursors, and divide along their apico-basal axes to produce a large apical neuroblast and a smaller basal ganglion mother cell. The ganglion mother cell will divide once again to produce two post-mitotic neurons or glia. In this chapter we outline a method for labeling different types of neural precursors in the Drosophila central nervous system, followed by their extraction and processing for transcriptome analysis. This technique has allowed us to capture and compare the expression profiles of neuroblasts and neuroepithelial cells, resulting in the identification of key genes required for the regulation of self-renewal and differentiation.

Key words

Drosophila Neural stem cell GAL4/UAS In situ cell picking RT-PCR Transcriptome analysis 



The authors thank Karin Edoff, Boris Egger, Paul Wu, Adrian Carr, Hiroaki Matsunami, and Rick Livesey for sharing protocols and their considerable expertise. This work was supported by the Wellcome Trust.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Gurdon InstituteUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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