SPARC - A method to genetically manipulate precise proportions of cells

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Abstract

Many experimental approaches rely on controlling gene expression in select subsets of cells within an individual animal. However, reproducibly targeting transgene expression to specific fractions of a genetically defined cell type is challenging. We developed Sparse Predictive Activity through Recombinase Competition (SPARC), a generalizable toolkit that can express any effector in precise proportions of post-mitotic cells in Drosophila. Using this approach, we demonstrate targeted expression of many effectors in several cell types and apply these tools to calcium imaging of individual neurons, optogenetic manipulation of sparse cell populations in vivo, and genomic profiling of mutant and control neuronal subtypes harvested from the same animals.


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