Although pioneer neurons are the first to delineate the axon pathways, it is uncertain whether they have unique pathfinding abilities. As a first step in defining the role of pioneer neurons in the Drosophila embryonic CNS, we describe the temporal profile and trajectory of the axons of four pioneer neurons and show that they differ from previously published reports. We show, by targeted ablation of one, two, three or four pioneer neurons at a time, that (1) no single pioneer neuron is essential for axon tract formation, (2) the interaction between two pioneers is necessary for the establishment of each fascicle and (3) pioneer neurons function synergistically to establish the longitudinal axon tracts, to guide the fasciculation of follower neurons along specific fascicles and to prevent axons from crossing the midline.
Targeted neuronal ablation: the role of pioneer neurons in guidance and fasciculation in the CNS of Drosophila
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A. Hidalgo, A.H. Brand; Targeted neuronal ablation: the role of pioneer neurons in guidance and fasciculation in the CNS of Drosophila. Development 1 September 1997; 124 (17): 3253–3262. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.124.17.3253
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