the mechanisms leading to cell diversity during development requires the
identification of the various cell-types, their origin and lineage relationships.
The DiI labelling technique allows to trace the entire embryonic development
of each individual progenitor cell and to study the morphology of its fully
differentiated cell progeny in wild-type as well as mutant embryos.
Upon cellularization (stage 7) precursor cells are individually labelled in their normal positions with the lipophilic fluorescent tracer DiI. The dye integrates in the cell membrane. It does not diffuse between cells but is transferred during divisions exclusively to the progeny cells of the respective precursor. Development of the labelled cells can be observed in vivo, and upon photoconversion of the dye, fully differentiated clones can be analyzed in permanent preparations. For a detailed description of the CNS lineages see Interactive Neuroblasts.
Equipment: Inverted microscope (equipped with Nomarski optics, epifluorescence, and digital camera); micromanipulator; electrode puller; capillary tip grinder
DiI labelling..........additional information