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Although many of the techniques of live cell imaging in Drosophila melanogaster are also used by the greater community of cell biologists working on other model systems, studying living fly tissues presents unique difficulties with regard to keeping the cells alive, introducing fluorescent probes, and imaging through thick, hazy cytoplasm. This article outlines the major tissue types amenable to study by time-lapse cinematography and different methods for keeping the cells alive. It describes various imaging and associated techniques best suited to following changes in the distribution of fluorescently labeled molecules in real time in these tissues. Imaging, in general, is a rapidly developing discipline, and recent advances in imaging technology are able to greatly extend what can be achieved with live cell imaging of Drosophila tissues. As far as possible, this article includes the latest technical developments and discusses likely future developments in imaging methods that could have an impact on research using Drosophila.

Original publication




Journal article


Cold Spring Harb Protoc

Publication Date





Animals, Cytological Techniques, Drosophila melanogaster, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Microscopy, Fluorescence, Microscopy, Video