Perspective abstract

Nature Genetics 39, 715 - 720 (2007)
Published online: 29 May 2007 | doi:10.1038/ng2049

Using FlyAtlas to identify better Drosophila melanogaster models of human disease

Venkateswara R Chintapalli1, Jing Wang1 & Julian A T Dow1

FlyAtlas, a new online resource, provides the most comprehensive view yet of expression in multiple tissues of Drosophila melanogaster. Meta-analysis of the data shows that a significant fraction of the genome is expressed with great tissue specificity in the adult, demonstrating the need for the functional genomic community to embrace a wide range of functional phenotypes. Well-known developmental genes are often reused in surprising tissues in the adult, suggesting new functions. The homologs of many human genetic disease loci show selective expression in the Drosophila tissues analogous to the affected human tissues, providing a useful filter for potential candidate genes. Additionally, the contributions of each tissue to the whole-fly array signal can be calculated, demonstrating the limitations of whole-organism approaches to functional genomics and allowing modeling of a simple tissue fractionation procedure that should improve detection of weak or tissue-specific signals.

  1. Venkateswara R. Chintapalli, Jing Wang and Julian A.T. Dow are in the Division of Molecular Genetics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G11 6NU, UK. e-mail:


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