Preparing individual Drosophila egg chambers for live imaging.
Weil TT., Parton RM., Davis I.
Live cell imaging is an important technique applied to a number of Drosophila tissues used as models to investigate topics such as axis specification, cell differentiation and organogenesis (1). Correct preparation of the experimental samples is a crucial, often neglected, step. The goal of preparation is to ensure physiological relevance and to establish optimal imaging conditions. To maintain tissue viability, it is critical to avoid dehydration, hypoxia, overheating or medium deterioration (2). The Drosophila egg chamber is a well established system for examining questions relating, but not limited, to body patterning, mRNA localization and cytoskeletal organization (3,4). For early- and mid-stage egg chambers, mounting in halocarbon oil is good for survival in that it allows free diffusion of oxygen, prevents dehydration and hypoxia and has superb optical properties for microscopy. Imaging of fluorescent proteins is possible through the introduction of transgenes into the egg chamber or physical injection of labeled RNA, protein or antibodies (5-7). For example, addition of MS2 constructs to the genome of animals enables real time observation of mRNAs in the oocyte (8). These constructs allow for in vivo labeling of mRNA through utilization of the MS2 bacteriophage RNA stem loop interaction with its coat protein (9). Here, we present a protocol for the extraction of ovaries as well as isolating individual ovarioles and egg chambers from the female Drosophila. For a detailed description of Drosophila oogenesis see Allan C. Spradling (1993, reprinted 2009) (10).