Malpighian Tubules

Project Title: Malpighian Tubules, Ultrastructure and Septate Junctions in Drosophila

Collaboration with Klaus Beyenbach, Aylin Rodan, Mikio Furuse  

Principle Investigator: Achim Paululat, Heiko Harten, Klaus Beyenbach

Summary: The Drosophila excretory system is composed of a number of individual nephrocytes and the Malpighian tubules (MTs). Together, they eliminate metabolic byproducts such as toxins and regulate maintenance of water balance and electrolyte composition. We analyse Septate Junctions on the protein level (Tsp2A) and the ultrastructural level.

The hemolymph of an insect contains wanted and unwanted constituents and a major task for the organism is the removal or the recycling of the unwanted material. In insects, this task is achieved by two tissues, the nephrocytes and the Malpighian tubules, which build the excretion system of the fly.  In this project, joined by Klaus Beyenbach, Aylin Rodan, Mikio Furuse, Heiko Harten an Achim Paululat, we are aiming  to analyse the role of junctional proteins in the Malpighian tubules. These studies were complemented by ultrastructural analysis using transmission electron microscopy.

(Photo by Leonardt Breitsprecher, University of Osnabrück)