To facilitate the identification and functional analysis of neuronal and glial subtypes with single cell resolution, we have recently generated three Drosophila variants of the mouse Brainbow-2 system (Livet et al., 2007), called Flybow (FB).
This approach enables us to label cells in different colors in the same sample.
It relies on the stochastic expression of membrane-tethered fluorescent proteins by excision and inversion of opposing coding sequences arranged within cassettes. FB combines the Gal4/UAS system and a modified FLP/FRT system with altered specificity to provide (1) precise spatio-temporal control of expression in any genetically accessible cell population and (2) compatibility with available FLP/FRT-system based genetic approaches for functional studies. Our current efforts aim at developing this approach further by adding new sets of FB transgenes to our toolbox.