Fast Whole-Brain Imaging with Single-Neuron Identity in C. elegans


October 19, 2016 - 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Northwest 243
About the Speaker
Ev Yemini
Speaker Affiliation: 
Oliver Hobert Lab/ Columbia

Stereotypy of the C. elegans nervous system affords single-neuron registration across animals, and consequently, robust statistics for neurobehavioral coding and transcriptomics. Fast methods of whole-brain imaging in worm exist, but unfortunately determining the identity of neurons within these volumes remains a bottleneck – requiring a long, difficult, ad hoc process. We have developed a landmarked strain for whole-brain neural identification, NeuroPAL (a Neuronal Polychromatic Atlas of Landmarks). Each neuron is assigned an invariant fluorophore barcode such that color and position specify unambiguous neural identity via the unique 3-tuple (color, position, ganglion). The GFP channel is preserved for reporters of neural activity (GCaMP) and transcriptomics (GFP). Our landmark strain employs 5 fluorophores. To visualize this strain our collaborators, the Samuel Lab at Harvard, have created a new microscope with the capability of imaging 9 unique fluorescence channels generated by 3 excitation lines and 4 emission bands. This microscope acquires whole-brain volumes, of 4 fluorophores, simultaneously, at 10Hz. Together, these two innovations permit fast whole-brain imaging, with single-neuron identity and neuronal registration, across an animal populace.