Border Cell Migration: A Model System for Live Imaging and Genetic Analysis of Collective Cell Movement

Mohit Prasad, Xiaobo Wang, Li He, Denise J. Montell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

13 Scopus citations


Border cell migration in the Drosophila ovary has emerged as a genetically tractable model for studying collective cell movement. Over many years border cell migration was exclusively studied in fixed samples due to the inability to culture stage 9 egg chambers in vitro. Although culturing late stage egg chambers was long feasible, stage 9 egg chambers survived only briefly outside the female body. We identified culture conditions that support stage 9 egg chamber development and sustain complete migration of border cells ex vivo. This protocol enables one to compare the dynamics of egg chamber development in wild type and mutant egg chambers using time-lapse microscopy and taking advantage of a multiposition microscope with a motorized imaging stage. In addition, this protocol has been successfully used in combination with fluorescence resonance energy transfer biosensors, photo-activatable proteins, and pharmacological agents and can be used with widefield or confocal microscopes in either an upright or inverted configuration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCell Migration
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopmental Methods and Protocols
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781617792069
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Border cell migration
  • Collective cell migration
  • Drosophila stage 9 egg chambers
  • Organ culture
  • Time-lapse live imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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