This study is all about the development of a widely adopted cryopreservation method remains a major challenge in Drosophila research. Here we report a robust and easily implemented cryopreservation protocol of Drosophila melanogaster embryos. We present innovations for embryo permeabilization, cryoprotectant agent loading, and rewarming. We show that the protocol is broadly applicable, successfully implemented in 25 distinct strains from different sources. We demonstrate that for most strains, >50% embryos hatch and >25% of the resulting larvae develop into adults after cryopreservation. We determine that survival can be significantly improved by outcrossing to mitigate the effect of genetic background for strains with low survival after cryopreservation. We show that flies retain normal sex ratio, fertility, and original mutation after successive cryopreservation of 5 generations and 6-month storage in liquid nitrogen.
Fig: Schematic overview of cryopreservation procedures forDrosophila melanogasterembryos and detailed pictorial illustration for critical steps.
Lastly, we find that non-specialists are able to use this protocol to obtain consistent results, demonstrating potential for wide adoption.
Zhan, L., Li, Mg., Hays, T. et al. Cryopreservation method forDrosophila melanogaster embryos. Nat Commun 12, 2412 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22694-z