Versatile genetic paintbrushes: Brainbow technologies.
Bottom Line: While being continuously refined, Brainbow technologies have thus found a firm place in the genetic toolboxes of developmental and neurobiologists.For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website.The authors have declared no conflicts of interest for this article.
Affiliation: MRC National Institute for Medical Research, Division of Molecular Neurobiology, London, UK.Show MeSH
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Mentions: Brainbow methods were designed for anatomical and functional studies of genetically accessible cell populations with two main experimental applications in mind: (1) sparse labeling of specific cell types to visualize their morphologies and (2) comprehensive labeling of clonally related cells to track lineages (Figure 5). Consistently, Brainbow transgenes were so far successfully utilized to map known and new neuron subtypes,8,99 to identify the role of a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor in axonal projection pattern formation,100 and to monitor laminar map assembly13 in the visual systems of flies and zebrafish. Furthermore, visualization of single cell shapes in their epithelial environment provided insights into the role of the tyrosine kinase Src42A in embryonic tracheal tube elongation.6 In lineage tracing experiments, Brainbow technologies were employed to follow the development of individual embryonic peripheral glial cell subtypes into perineurial, subperineurial, and wrapping glial subtypes associated with third instar larval peripheral nerves in Drosophila.101 Finally, multicolor clonal analysis discovered the contributions of dominant cardiomyocyte lineages to zebrafish heart morphogenesis,12 the role of neutral competition between symmetrically dividing intestinal crypt stem cells15 and the origin of stem cells required for corneal epithelial renewal in mice.102
Affiliation: MRC National Institute for Medical Research, Division of Molecular Neurobiology, London, UK.