GSBS Student Publications


Twin-spot MARCM to reveal the developmental origin and identity of neurons

Student Author(s)

Lei Shi

GSBS Program


UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurobiology; Tzumin Lee Lab; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Neuroscience Program



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Animals, Genetically Modified; Brain; *Cell Lineage; Central Nervous System; Drosophila; Drosophila Proteins; Gene Knockout Techniques; Genetic Techniques; Mushroom Bodies; Nerve Tissue Proteins; *Neurogenesis; Neurons; RNA Interference; Time Factors


Neuroscience and Neurobiology


A comprehensive understanding of the brain requires the analysis of individual neurons. We used twin-spot mosaic analysis with repressible cell markers (twin-spot MARCM) to trace cell lineages at high resolution by independently labeling paired sister clones. We determined patterns of neurogenesis and the influences of lineage on neuron-type specification. Notably, neural progenitors were able to yield intermediate precursors that create one, two or more neurons. Furthermore, neurons acquired stereotyped projections according to their temporal position in various brain sublineages. Twin-spot MARCM also permitted birth dating of mutant clones, enabling us to detect a single temporal fate that required chinmo in a sublineage of six Drosophila central complex neurons. In sum, twin-spot MARCM can reveal the developmental origins of neurons and the mechanisms that underlie cell fate.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Nat Neurosci. 2009 Jul;12(7):947-53. Epub 2009 Jun 14. Link to article on publisher's site

DOI of Published Version


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Nature neuroscience

PubMed ID