Why use the fly for neuronal growth research?

We experimentally address the complexity of cytoskeletal regulation by using primarily the fruitfly Drosophila for our research (>>>), complementary to work in mammalian cultures. Cytoskeletal regulators in the fly are evolutionarily well conserved. They display little genetic redundancy, which enormously facilitates their loss-of-function analysis. Their function can be assessed with powerful fly genetics and screening procedures applied to experimentally amenable neurons, both in vivo and in primary cultures. Studies of principal neuronal mechanisms in the fly have had enormous impact on mammalian research (>>>), and our data obtained so far confirm this notion.

Therefore, using Drosophila for our research will enable us to gain crucial knowledge about principal mechanisms underpinning cytoskeleton regulation during axonal growth, synapse formation and maintenance, which will have obvious impact on work in mammals or humans.