Skip to main content

Table 2 Why use Drosophila?

From: The model of local axon homeostasis - explaining the role and regulation of microtubule bundles in axon maintenance and pathology

The use of Drosophila neurons to study the neuronal cytoskeleton has a number of advantages that were detailed elsewhere [46]. Key aspects are the high degree of evolutionary conservation of cytoskeletal proteins, regulators and dynamics, the experimental amenability of neurons in primary cell culture and in vivo [46, 77, 78], and the relative ease of genetic manipulation based on available resources and efficient combinatorial genetics [79]. The power of combinatorial genetics is rooted in the relative ease, speed and cost effectiveness with which genes can be manipulated and functionally analysed, facilitating also combined analyses of multiple factors in the same animals or cells [46, 70, 80]. Drosophila's combinatorial genetics has been extremely successful in overcoming problems of redundancy, and in generating new conceptual understanding of co-operative networks of neuronal MT regulation that underlie phenomena at the cellular level (see main text). This has similarly been demonstrated for C. elegans [81,82,83]. Such depth of understanding at the cellular level can hardly be achieved through isolated work on individual genetic factors.