Virtual Fly Brain

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Virtual Fly Brain, or VFB, is an interactive, web-based tool that allows neurobiologists to explore the detailed neuroanatomy, transgene expression and associated phenotypes of the Drosophila melanogaster brain.[1] Users can browse painted 3D image stacks of the Drosophila brain, choosing any plane of section they want and clicking on painted regions to find names' definitions, references and synonyms for the chosen region. For each region, they can run queries to find neurons, transgene expression and phenotypes. For each neuron found, users can browse definitions, references and synonyms.

Technical details[edit]

Virtual Fly Brain uses an ontological model of Drosophila anatomy written in OWL2 and based on the Drosophila literature. This contains detailed information about both gross neuroanatomy, neuron classes and the relationships between them. Underlying each neuroanatomy query is a query of this ontology in OWL-DL.

Queries of phenotype and expression utilise the large volume of expression and phenotype data in FlyBase[2] annotated using the Drosophila anatomy ontology. Each expression or phenotype query starts with a query of the anatomy ontology for terms appropriate to the chosen region. The output of this query is then used as input for a query of the FlyBase chado[3] database for expression or phenotype annotated using these terms.

Images in the viewer are delivered as a series of tiles covering only the visible area in the browser window. The tiles are produced from a compound 3D Woolz[4][5] object representing the overall structure and individual painted domains.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ R, Drysdale; FlyBase Consortium (2008). "FlyBase : a database for the Drosophila research community". Methods Mol. Biol. 420: 45–59. PMID 18641940. doi:10.1007/978-1-59745-583-1_3. 
  3. ^ "Chado - Getting Started". GMOD. 13 February 2014. Retrieved 2017-06-09. 
  4. ^ "Woolz Image Processing: Woolz Core Software". EMAP Home. Retrieved 2017-06-09. 
  5. ^

External links[edit]