standard Genetic Manipulation of Insect Cell Lines

Two papers in the December issue of Genetics, Cherbas et al. 2015 and Manivannan et al. 2015, describe an improved method for making Drosophila cell lines with single, targeted mutations. Both works build upon existing recombination-mediated cassette exchange (RMCE) technology […]

standard Exchangeable Cassettes Controlled by Endogenous Genes

Two recent publications, Gnerer et al. and Diao et al., address the issue of recreating the fine transcriptional patterns of endogenous genes with binary expression systems in insects. Binary expression systems are extremely powerful tools for controlled gene manipulation. The […]

standard Transgenic Effectors for Neurogenic Manipulation

Genetic technologies will continue to play an increasingly important role in enabling the function of specific neurons in insect behavior to be determined. The genetic technologies available for manipulating Drosophila melanogaster provides not only great examples but some of these […]

standard Q System: Flies, Worms – Now Fish

“Transgenic tools for manipulation of gene expression are invaluable for labeling and tracking cell populations and for assessing genetic and cellular functions in developmental, physiological and behavioral studies.” (Subedi et al. 2014) The Gal4/UAS system is the most widely used […]

XOR Circuit: You get output only when there is input from A or B but not both or neither.

standard CRISPy Circuits

Sophisticated tools for genome modification allow investigators to devise ever-increasing complex genetic circuits. The Gal4 /UAS system is one example of a simple binary system. While powerful, this system does not allow for particularly complex genetic circuits to be assembled. […]

standard Six Tandem Cherries -> Very Bright Insects

Insect genetic modification technologies rely heavily on the use of fluorescent proteins as genetic markers, expression reporters etc. Colors vary, as do fluorescent outputs. Shearin et al. (2014) describe their efforts to increase signals from two popular fluorescent proteins, EGFP […]

Chimera, a mythic creature composed of lion, snake and goat

standard Marking Clones: Past and Future

As Perrimon and colleagues point out chimeras or mosaics have played and continue to play an important role in our analysis of development.  In Drosophilia the technology for creating mosaics is mature and powerful.  Even before transgenic technologies provided precision […]

standard Improved Lineage Marking in Drosophila

Marking cells has been a powerful tool for developmental biologists studying Drosophila melanogaster for many decades.  Insect genetic technologies, in particular site specific recombination systems, have allowed this lineage marking and tracking method to become highly robust and controlable.  Enhancer […]

GAL4+ Oenocytes

standard Oenocyte-specific GAL4 Expression in Bombyx

GAL4 is a well-established binary transcription system that can provide a level of modularity to expressing transgenes in specific patterns.  Tsubota et al describe the construction of GAL4 transgenes under the regulatory control of promoters from genes with strong expressing […]