Characterizing the Drosophila Germline Stem Cell Niche: Future Directions

It’s been about 3 weeks since leaving campus and pausing my research project for now. Reflecting back on my summer of research, I am happy with the progress that’s been made. I helped develop a new process for imaging gonads in vivo using phytagel, found a type of FBS that supports gonad differentiation ex vivo, and optimized the tracking procedure for specific cell types within the gonad using Fiji Track-mate software. There were also come set-backs this summer. It was discovered that the flies used for imaging were contaminated. It was very important that we realized this though so that we can expand a clean line of flies for use in future experiments.

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Live Cell Imaging of Drosophila Gonads (Update 3)

The end of the summer session is fast approaching and so much has happened since my last post.

First of all, I was finally able to image some differentiating gonads! I found that adding 450 microliters of freshly aliquoted Atlanta Biological’s heat inactive fetal bovine serum (FBS) to my live cell imaging culture media supports cell differentiation. However, I didn’t see much growth of the gonad itself so I am still playing around with the exact formula for the culture media. I recently tried out using Shield and Sang’s M3 medium to isolate gonads and in my culture media in addition to the new FBS. Unfortunately, although there was differentiation of gonads in this culture media, the gonads died about 6 hours into imaging. I do believe the medium we had been using, Schneider’s Insect media, is optimal for the differentiation of drosophila embryonic gonads ex vivo. In the future, I plan on doing a titration experiment to find what concentration of FBS is optimal for differentiation and growth in culture media.

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