Flybrain

Three-dimensional Reconstruction of the Drosophila Larval and Adult Brain
- Larval Brain Model

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The larval brain forms during the 24 hours of embryogenesis. Subsequently, Drosophila goes through three larval stages (L1, L2 and L3) before it pupates and then reaches adulthood. The larva has a number of specific brain structures that are either replaced by different adult structures or remodelled during metamorphosis (Truman, 1990; reviewed by Truman et al., 1993). The larval brain already contains the anlagen for the adult brain. The visual system of the larva consists of Bolwig's organ, which is connected to the larval optic neuropil via Bolwig's nerve. These three structures, for instance, are degraded or retracted during metamorphosis (reviewed by Meinertzhagen and Hanson, 1993). They are replaced by the adult visual system with the four neuropil structures lamina, medulla, lobula and lobula plate which start to develop in larval stage L3 and continue their development during pupation.

The larval brain reconstruction presented here consists of the following structures: Outlines of both brain hemispheres and the ventral ganglion (grey, transparent), central brain and ventral ganglion neuropil (red), inner optic anlagen (green), larval optic neuropils (purple), parts of Bolwig's nerves (blue), developing medullae (gold), and developing laminae (yellow). The surface reconstructions are a result of segmenting each optical section of a double-labeled larval brain by hand. An antibody staining against Synapsin shows all active neuropils (central brain and ventral ganglion, larval optic neuropils). Secondly, GFP driven by the enhancer trap line Mz1369 shows the developing visual system within the larval hemispheres. Both, surfaces and original can be analyzed in three dimensions using the reconstruction.


VRML model (smooth surfaces, small) (10.000 triangles; includes surfaces and images)
VRML model (large) (30.000 triangles; includes surfaces and images)

Quicktime Movie (with cutaway)



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