Wiring a complex brain requires many neurons with intricate cell specificity, generated by a limited number of neural stem cells. Drosophila central brain lineages are a predetermined series of neurons, born in a specific order. To understand how lineage identity translates to neuron morphology, we mapped 18 Drosophila central brain lineages. While we found large aggregate differences between lineages, we also discovered shared patterns of morphological diversification. Lineage identity plus Notch-mediated sister fate govern primary neuron trajectories, whereas temporal fate diversifies terminal elaborations. Further, morphological neuron types may arise repeatedly, interspersed with other types. Despite the complexity, related lineages produce similar neuron types in comparable temporal patterns. Different stem cells even yield two identical series of dopaminergic neuron types, but with unrelated sister neurons. Together, these phenomena suggest that straightforward rules drive incredible neuronal complexity, and that large changes in morphology can result from relatively simple fating mechanisms.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Tzumin Lee
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Claude Desplan, New York University, United States
© 2020, Lee et al.
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