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Batelli, Sara; Kremer, Malte; Jung, Christophe; Gaul, Ulrike (2017): Application of MultiColor FlpOut Technique to Study High Resolution Single Cell Morphologies and Cell Interactions of Glia in Drosophila. In: Jove-Journal of Visualized Experiments, No. 128, e56177
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Cells display different morphologies and complex anatomical relationships. How do cells interact with their neighbors? Do the interactions differ between cell types or even within a given type? What kinds of spatial rules do they follow? The answers to such fundamental questions in vivo have been hampered so far by a lack of tools for high resolution single cell labeling. Here, a detailed protocol to target single cells with a MultiColor FlpOut (MCFO) technique is provided. This method relies on three differently tagged reporters (HA, FLAG and V5) under UAS control that are kept silent by a transcriptional terminator flanked by two FRT sites (FRT-stop-FRT). A heat shock pulse induces the expression of a heat shock-induced Flp recombinase, which randomly removes the FRT-stop-FRT cassettes in individual cells: expression occurs only in cells that also express a GAL4 driver. This leads to an array of differently colored cells of a given cell type that allows the visualization of individual cell morphologies at high resolution. As an example, the MCFO technique can be combined with specific glial GAL4 drivers to visualize the morphologies of the different glial subtypes in the adult Drosophila brain.