Galerie & Covers

From the Lab

December 2010: Look what Dan got for his birthday!

Also December 2010: Dan passed the Knawlege Lead Pipe to Smita for being in the process of cloning herself. Remember: Knawlege is Power!


Here's what we study, the fly's brain ... yes, it really has one...

Heightfield Visualization of the Primary Visual Map in Drosophila (red areas on both sides in the picture above).
800 times six photoreceptors form approx. 250,000 synapses that represent the primary picture of visual space in the fly's brain.
How is this precise synaptic map of the world in the brain encoded?

3D Visualizations of photoreceptor projections into the larval brain.


The synaptic vesicle SNARE neuronal Synaptobrevin promotes endolysosomal degradation and prevents neurodegeneration
Haberman et al., 2012, Journal of Cell Biology 196, 261-276
Cover Caption: A 3D visualization shows the photoreceptor projections in the adult Drosophila brain. Haberman et al. reveal that, in addition to regulating synaptic vesicle exocytosis, the SNARE protein Synaptobrevin also promotes endolysosomal degradation. Loss of this degradation mechanism in photoreceptors leads to adult-onset degeneration.
Guidance Receptor Degradation is Required for Neuronal Connectivity in the Drosophila Nervous System
Williamson et al., 2010, PLoS Biology 8(12): e1000553.
Cover Caption: The picture shows a preparation of the eye of the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. The eye is imaged from the inside and fluorescently labeled for the light sensitive rhabdomeres using Phalloidin. A confocal maximum projection visualization was false-colored to distinguish rhabdomere cross-sections (center, blue) from tangential sections (orange). The Drosophila eye forms a stereotyped pattern during development and extends axons into the brain using specialized guidance cues. In this issue of PLoS Biology, Williamson et al. propose that a neuron-specific protein degradation pathway is required for the spatiotemoral regulation of guidance receptors during development of the Drosophila visual system.
A dual function of V0-ATPase a1 provides an endolysosomal degradation mechanism in Drosophila photoreceptors
Williamson et al., 2010, J. Cell. Biol. 189, 885-99.
Cover Caption: In the Drosophila visual system, photoreceptor neurons (green) project toward the optic lobe and form synaptic connections in the neuropil (red). Nuclei are labeled blue. Williamson et al. show that the neuron-specific v-ATPase subunit v100 has a dual function in sorting and degrading proteins through the endolysosomale pathway, protecting the photoreceptors from neurodegeneration.
The v-ATPase V0 subunit a1 is required for a late step in synaptic vesicle fusion
Hiesinger et al., 2005, Cell 121, 607-620.
Cover Caption: The cover shows a confocal microscopy heightfield visualization of synapses in the first optic neuropil of the adult fly, labeled with the synaptic markers Vha100-1 (red), nc82 (green), and DPAK (blue). Vha100-1 is a v-ATPase V0 complex component found at synapses of the CNS as well as neuromuscular junctions. A possible role of the V0 complex in membrane fusion independent of v-ATPase function in neurons is a long-standing controversy. Hiesinger et al. report on pp. (607-620) a synaptic requirement of Vha100-1 for a late step in exocytosis (pp. 303-313).
Endophilin acts after Synaptic Vesicle Fission in Drosophila Photoreceptor Terminals.
Fabian-Fine et al., 2003, J. Neurosci 23, 10732-44
Cover Caption: Three-dimensional volume rendering of the first optic neuropil, or lamina, of the Drosophila optic lobe labeled with anti-endophilin (Endo; green) and anti-synaptobrevin (Syb; red). Precise modules of this neuropil, called cartridges, comprising six photoreceptor terminals that innervate lamina monopolar cell interneurons, are immunoreactive for Endo and Syb (orange/yellow). Note, however, that Endo is also present in unidentified cells of the lamina cortex surmounting the lamina. (This image was prepared by P. Robin Hiesinger.) For details, see the article by Fabian-Fine et al. in this issue (pages 10732-10474).
Drosophila VAP-33A directs bouton formation and neuromuscular junctions in a dosage-dependent manner.
Pennetta et al., 2002, Neuron 35, 291-306.
Cover Caption: The cover shows the end of a neuronal branch (foreground) at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (background). Boutons are stained with an antibody against DVAP-33A (yellow to brown), which is excluded from active zones (purple). DVAP-33A is enriched at the neck of budding boutons. The visualization of the surface and underlying triangularized wireframe (top left) are merged with a qualitative volume rendering of a bouton from which the top is removed. Functional characterization of DVAP-33A using these visualization techniques shows that DVAP-33A is a microtubule-interacting protein and tightly regulates bouton budding at neuromuscular junctions in a dosage-dependent manner. For further details, see the article by Pennetta et al. (pp. 291-306 in this issue).
Neuropil pattern formation and regulation of cell adhesion molecules during Drosophila optic lobe development depend on synaptobrevin.
Hiesinger et al., 1999, J. Neurosci. 19, 7548-7556
Cover Caption: Three-dimensional reconstruction of a midpupal Drosophila optic lobe. The green channel shows inactive tetanus toxin light chain expression driven by the enhancer Gal4 line Mz1369. A staining of neuropil structures with an antibody against the cell adhesion molecule IrreC-rst is shown in red. Expression of active tetanus toxin light chain under control of Mz1369 results in a disturbance of neuropil fine structure as well as an upregulation of IrreC-rst immunoreactivity. For details, see the article by Hiesinger et al., in this issue (pages 7548-7556).
Shar-pei mediates cell proliferation arrest during tissue growth in Drosophila.
Kango-Singh et al., 2002, Development 129(24), 5719-30. (cover picture by Georg Halder)
Cover Caption: Pupal retina of Drosophila melanogaster imaged by confocal microscopy. Cell outlines of cone and pigment cells are visualized by Discs-large expression (green) and a deeper optical section shows photoreceptor nuclei labeled with TOPRO (blue). Circular structures are ommatidial cell clusters composed of four cone cells and eight photoreceptor cells that are surrounded by pigment cells. The retina is mosaic for shar-pei mutant and wild-type cell clones. Wild-type cells express GFP (red), while mutant cells do not. shar-pei mutant cells show excessive cell proliferation. For further details see article by M. Kango-Singh, R. Nolo, C. Tao, P. Verstreken, P. R. Hiesinger, H. J. Bellen and G. Halder in this issue, pp. 5719-5730.
Some German Blurb on 3D Visualization...
...a bit in the style of "yes, flies do have a brain and computers are fun, kids."
You may not want to read this...
Hiesinger and Fischbach (2000). BioSpektrum. 5/2000, 408-412.