Whole animal cell sorting of Drosophila embryos

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Science  04 Jan 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4989, pp. 81-85
DOI: 10.1126/science.1898782


Use of primary culture cells has been limited by the inability to purify most types of cells, particularly cells from early developmental stages. In whole animal cell sorting (WACS), live cells derived from animals harboring a lacZ transgene are purified according to their level of beta-galactosidase expression with a fluorogenic beta-galactosidase substrate and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. With WACS, incipient posterior compartment cells that express the engrailed gene were purified from early Drosophila embryos. Neuronal precursor cells were also purified, and they differentiated into neurons with high efficiency in culture. Because there are many lacZ strains, it may be possible to purify most types of Drosophila cells. The same approach is also applicable to other organisms for which germ-line transformation is possible.

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