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Developmental Organisation of Central Neurons in the Adult Drosophila Ventral Nervous System

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages72
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Early online date28 Mar 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Mar 2019


We have used MARCM to reveal and analyze the adult morphology of the post embryonically produced neurons in the thoracic neuromeres of the Drosophila ventral nervous system (VNS). The work builds on previous studies of the origins of the adult VNS neurons (Harris et al., 2015; Shepherd, et al., 2016; Truman, et al., 2004) to describe the clonal organization of the adult VNS. We present data for 53 of the 61 postembryonic lineages, excluding the two motorneuron producing lineages (15 and 24) which have been described elsewhere (Baek & Mann, 2009; Brierley et al., 2012). MARCM labels entire lineages but where both A and B hemilineages survive [e.g. lineages 19, 12, 13, 6, 1, 3, 8, 11], the two hemilineages can be discriminated and we have described each hemilineage separately. Hemilineage morphology is described in relation to the known functional domains of the VNS neuropil and we are able to assign broad functional roles for each hemilineage. The data shows that in a thoracic hemineuromere, 15 hemilineages are primarily involved in controlling leg movements and walking, 9 are involved in the control of wing movements, and 9 interface between both leg and wing control. The data provides a baseline of understanding of the functional organization of the adult Drosophila VNS. By understanding the morphological organization of these neurons, we can begin to define and test the rules by which neuronal circuits are assembled during development and understand the functional logic and evolution of neuronal networks.

    Research areas

  • Neurogenesis, Anatomy, Neuroblast, Development, Neuropil

ID: 79752439