Faculté des sciences et de médecine

Single cell transcriptome atlas of the Drosophila larval brain

Brunet Avalos, Clarisse ; Maier, G. Larisa ; Bruggmann, Rémy ; Sprecher, Simon G.

In: eLife, 2019, vol. 8, p. e50354

Cell diversity of the brain and how it is affected by starvation, remains largely unknown. Here, we introduce a single cell transcriptome atlas of the entire Drosophila first instar larval brain. We first assigned cell-type identity based on known marker genes, distinguishing five major groups: neural progenitors, differentiated neurons, glia, undifferentiated neurons and non-neural cells.... More

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    Summary
    Cell diversity of the brain and how it is affected by starvation, remains largely unknown. Here, we introduce a single cell transcriptome atlas of the entire Drosophila first instar larval brain. We first assigned cell-type identity based on known marker genes, distinguishing five major groups: neural progenitors, differentiated neurons, glia, undifferentiated neurons and non-neural cells. All major classes were further subdivided into multiple subtypes, revealing biological features of various cell-types. We further assessed transcriptional changes in response to starvation at the single- cell level. While after starvation the composition of the brain remains unaffected, transcriptional profile of several cell clusters changed. Intriguingly, different cell-types show very distinct responses to starvation, suggesting the presence of cell-specific programs for nutrition availability. Establishing a single-cell transcriptome atlas of the larval brain provides a powerful tool to explore cell diversity and assess genetic profiles from developmental, functional and behavioral perspectives.