Border cell migration: A model system for live imaging and genetic analysis of collective cell movement

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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 wide-field or confocal microscopes in either an upright or an inverted configuration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDrosophila Oogenesis: Methods and Protocols
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9781493928514, 9781493928507
StatePublished - Aug 31 2015


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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