Professor Michael Bate

Michael Bate

University position

Emeritus Professor


Department of Zoology


Home page (personal home page)

Research Theme

Developmental Neuroscience


My research is concerned with the way in which the machinery underlying coordinated movement is genetically specified and assembled during embryonic development. On the one hand this involves an analysis of the way in which muscles are assembled, specified and patterned and on the other an investigation of the way in which motor circuits are generated and begin to function. We work with the fruitfly, Drosophila melanogaster and this means that, as a group, we can bring a combination of genetic, molecular and cellular techniques to bear on these fundamental issues of neuromuscular development.

A pair of cholinergic interneurons labelled by GFP expression in the larval nervous system of Drosophila. These intersegmental interneurons have been selectively revealed using a genetic technique to fractionate the complete set of cholinergic interneurons.
A pair of cholinergic interneurons labelled by GFP expression in the larval nervous system of Drosophila. These intersegmental interneurons have been selectively revealed using a genetic technique to fractionate the complete set of cholinergic interneurons.
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Research Focus






neural circuit

Clinical conditions

No direct clinical relevance


Behavioural analysis

Confocal microscopy

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Fluorescence microscopy


Intracellular recording


Whole cell patch clamp



Matthias Landgraf


K. VijayRaghavan Web:

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Dixit R, VijayRaghavan K, Bate M (2008), “Hox genes and the regulation of movement in Drosophila” Dev Neurobiol 68(3): 309-16

    Zlatic M, Landgraf M, Bate M (2003), “Genetic specification of axonal arbors: atonal regulates robo3 to position terminal branches in the Drosophila nervous system” Neuron 37:41-51

    Suster ML, Bate M (2002), “Embryonic assembly of a central pattern generator without sensory input” Nature 416:174-178

    Ruiz-Gómez M, Coutts N, Price A, Taylor MV, Bate M (2000), “Drosophila Dumbfounded: a myoblast attractant essential for fusion” Cell 102:189-198



    Berni J, Pulver SR, Griffith LC, Bate M (2012), “Autonomous circuitry for substrate exploration in freely moving Drosophila larvae.” Curr Biol 22(20):1861-70 Details

    Prieto-Godino LL, Diegelmann S, Bate M (2012), “Embryonic origin of olfactory circuitry in Drosophila: contact and activity-mediated interactions pattern connectivity in the antennal lobe.” PLoS Biol 10(10):e1001400 Details


    Crisp SJ, Evers JF, Bate M (2011), “Endogenous patterns of activity are required for the maturation of a motor network.” J Neurosci 31(29):10445-50 Details


    Nair A, Bate M, Pulver SR (2010), “Characterization of voltage-gated ionic currents in a peripheral sensory neuron in larval Drosophila.” BMC Res Notes 3:154 Details


    Zlatic M, Li F, Strigini M, Grueber W, Bate M (2009), “Positional cues in the Drosophila nerve cord: semaphorins pattern the dorso-ventral axis.” PLoS Biol 7(6):e1000135 Details


    Crisp S, Evers JF, Fiala A, Bate M (2008), “The development of motor coordination in Drosophila embryos.” Development 135(22):3707-17 Details

    Diegelmann S, Bate M, Landgraf M (2008), “Gateway cloning vectors for the LexA-based binary expression system in Drosophila.” Fly (Austin) 2(4):236-9 Details

    Dixit R, Vijayraghavan K, Bate M (2008), “Hox genes and the regulation of movement in Drosophila.” Dev Neurobiol 68(3):309-16 Details

    Tripodi M, Evers JF, Mauss A, Bate M, Landgraf M (2008), “Structural homeostasis: compensatory adjustments of dendritic arbor geometry in response to variations of synaptic input.” PLoS Biol 6(10):e260 Details


    Strigini M, Cantera R, Morin X, Bastiani MJ, Bate M, Karagogeos D (2006), “The IgLON protein Lachesin is required for the blood-brain barrier in Drosophila.” Mol Cell Neurosci 32(1-2):91-101 Details


    Dutta D, Anant S, Ruiz-Gomez M, Bate M, VijayRaghavan K (2004), “Founder myoblasts and fibre number during adult myogenesis in Drosophila.” Development 131(15):3761-72 Details

    Suster ML, Seugnet L, Bate M, Sokolowski MB (2004), “Refining GAL4-driven transgene expression in Drosophila with a GAL80 enhancer-trap.” Genesis 39(4):240-5 Details


    Landgraf M, Jeffrey V, Fujioka M, Jaynes JB, Bate M (2003), “Embryonic origins of a motor system: motor dendrites form a myotopic map in Drosophila.” PLoS Biol 1(2):E41 Details

    Zlatic M, Landgraf M, Bate M (2003), “Genetic specification of axonal arbors: atonal regulates robo3 to position terminal branches in the Drosophila nervous system.” Neuron 37(1):41-51 Details


    Baines RA, Seugnet L, Thompson A, Salvaterra PM, Bate M (2002), “Regulation of synaptic connectivity: levels of Fasciclin II influence synaptic growth in the Drosophila CNS.” J Neurosci 22(15):6587-95 Details

    Ruiz-Gómez M, Coutts N, Suster ML, Landgraf M, Bate M (2002), “myoblasts incompetent encodes a zinc finger transcription factor required to specify fusion-competent myoblasts in Drosophila.” Development 129(1):133-41 Details

    Suster ML, Bate M (2002), “Embryonic assembly of a central pattern generator without sensory input.” Nature 416(6877):174-8 Details


    Baines RA, Uhler JP, Thompson A, Sweeney ST, Bate M (2001), “Altered electrical properties in Drosophila neurons developing without synaptic transmission.” J Neurosci 21(5):1523-31 Details

    Martin BS, Ruiz-Gómez M, Landgraf M, Bate M (2001), “A distinct set of founders and fusion-competent myoblasts make visceral muscles in the Drosophila embryo.” Development 128(17):3331-8 Details

    San Martin B, Bate M (2001), “Hindgut visceral mesoderm requires an ectodermal template for normal development in Drosophila.” Development 128(2):233-42 Details


    Ruiz-Gómez M, Coutts N, Price A, Taylor MV, Bate M (2000), “Drosophila dumbfounded: a myoblast attractant essential for fusion.” Cell 102(2):189-98 Details


    Bate M (1999), “Development of motor behaviour.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 9(6):670-5 Details

    Bate M, Landgraf M, Ruiz Gómez Bate M (1999), “Development of larval body wall muscles.” Int Rev Neurobiol 43:25-44 Details

    Landgraf M, Baylies M, Bate M (1999), “Muscle founder cells regulate defasciculation and targeting of motor axons in the Drosophila embryo.” Curr Biol 9(11):589-92 Details

    Landgraf M, Roy S, Prokop A, VijayRaghavan K, Bate M (1999), “even-skipped determines the dorsal growth of motor axons in Drosophila.” Neuron 22(1):43-52 Details


    Baines RA, Bate M (1998), “Electrophysiological development of central neurons in the Drosophila embryo.” J Neurosci 18(12):4673-83 Details

    Bate M (1998), “Making sense of behavior.” Int J Dev Biol 42(3):507-9 Details

    Baylies MK, Bate M, Ruiz Gomez M (1998), “Myogenesis: a view from Drosophila.” Cell 93(6):921-7 Details

    Prokop A, Martín-Bermudo MD, Bate M, Brown NH (1998), “Absence of PS integrins or laminin A affects extracellular adhesion, but not intracellular assembly, of hemiadherens and neuromuscular junctions in Drosophila embryos.” Dev Biol 196(1):58-76 Details

    Prokop A, Uhler J, Roote J, Bate M (1998), “The kakapo mutation affects terminal arborization and central dendritic sprouting of Drosophila motorneurons.” J Cell Biol 143(5):1283-94 Details


    Baylies MK, Bate M, Ruiz Gomez M (1997), “The specification of muscle in Drosophila.” Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 62:385-93 Details

    Hartmann C, Landgraf M, Bate M, Jäckle H (1997), “Krüppel target gene knockout participates in the proper innervation of a specific set of Drosophila larval muscles.” EMBO J 16(17):5299-309 Details

    Landgraf M, Bossing T, Technau GM, Bate M (1997), “The origin, location, and projections of the embryonic abdominal motorneurons of Drosophila.” J Neurosci 17(24):9642-55 Details

    Ruiz Gómez M, Bate M (1997), “Segregation of myogenic lineages in Drosophila requires numb.” Development 124(23):4857-66 Details

    Ruiz-Gómez M, Romani S, Hartmann C, Jäckle H, Bate M (1997), “Specific muscle identities are regulated by Krüppel during Drosophila embryogenesis.” Development 124(17):3407-14 Details


    Baylies MK, Bate M (1996), “twist: a myogenic switch in Drosophila.” Science 272(5267):1481-4 Details

    Keshishian H, Broadie K, Chiba A, Bate M (1996), “The drosophila neuromuscular junction: a model system for studying synaptic development and function.” Annu Rev Neurosci 19:545-75 Details

    Prokop A, Landgraf M, Rushton E, Broadie K, Bate M (1996), “Presynaptic development at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction: assembly and localization of presynaptic active zones.” Neuron 17(4):617-26 Details


    Bate M, Broadie K (1995), “Wiring by fly: the neuromuscular system of the Drosophila embryo.” Neuron 15(3):513-25 Details

    Baylies MK, Martinez Arias A, Bate M (1995), “wingless is required for the formation of a subset of muscle founder cells during Drosophila embryogenesis.” Development 121(11):3829-37 Details

    Borkowski OM, Brown NH, Bate M (1995), “Anterior-posterior subdivision and the diversification of the mesoderm in Drosophila.” Development 121(12):4183-93 Details

    Carmena A, Bate M, Jiménez F (1995), “Lethal of scute, a proneural gene, participates in the specification of muscle progenitors during Drosophila embryogenesis.” Genes Dev 9(19):2373-83 Details

    Currie DA, Bate M (1995), “Innervation is essential for the development and differentiation of a sex-specific adult muscle in Drosophila melanogaster.” Development 121(8):2549-57 Details

    Rushton E, Drysdale R, Abmayr SM, Michelson AM, Bate M (1995), “Mutations in a novel gene, myoblast city, provide evidence in support of the founder cell hypothesis for Drosophila muscle development.” Development 121(7):1979-88 Details


    Staehling-Hampton K, Hoffmann FM, Baylies MK, Rushton E, Bate M (1994), “dpp induces mesodermal gene expression in Drosophila.” Nature 372(6508):783-6 Details


    Bate M, Rushton E (1993), “Myogenesis and muscle patterning in Drosophila.” C R Acad Sci III 316(9):1047-61 Details

    Bate M, Rushton E, Frasch M (1993), “A dual requirement for neurogenic genes in Drosophila myogenesis.” Dev Suppl :149-61 Details

    Broadie K, Bate M (1993), “Muscle development is independent of innervation during Drosophila embryogenesis.” Development 119(2):533-43 Details

    Broadie K, Bate M (1993), “Activity-dependent development of the neuromuscular synapse during Drosophila embryogenesis.” Neuron 11(4):607-19 Details

    Broadie K, Bate M (1993), “Innervation directs receptor synthesis and localization in Drosophila embryo synaptogenesis.” Nature 361(6410):350-3 Details

    Broadie K, Sink H, Van Vactor D, Fambrough D, Whitington PM, Bate M, Goodman CS (1993), “From growth cone to synapse: the life history of the RP3 motor neuron.” Dev Suppl :227-38 Details

    Broadie KS, Bate M (1993), “Development of larval muscle properties in the embryonic myotubes of Drosophila melanogaster.” J Neurosci 13(1):167-80 Details

    Broadie KS, Bate M (1993), “Development of the embryonic neuromuscular synapse of Drosophila melanogaster.” J Neurosci 13(1):144-66 Details

    Couso JP, Bate M, Martínez-Arias A (1993), “A wingless-dependent polar coordinate system in Drosophila imaginal discs.” Science 259(5094):484-9 Details

    Edwards JS, Swales LS, Bate M (1993), “The differentiation between neuroglia and connective tissue sheath in insect ganglia revisited: the neural lamella and perineurial sheath cells are absent in a mesodermless mutant of Drosophila.” J Comp Neurol 333(2):301-8 Details

    Lai ZC, Rushton E, Bate M, Rubin GM (1993), “Loss of function of the Drosophila zfh-1 gene results in abnormal development of mesodermally derived tissues.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 90(9):4122-6 Details


    Bate M, Arias AM (1991), “The embryonic origin of imaginal discs in Drosophila.” Development 112(3):755-61 Details

    Bate M, Rushton E, Currie DA (1991), “Cells with persistent twist expression are the embryonic precursors of adult muscles in Drosophila.” Development 113(1):79-89 Details

    Broadie KS, Bate M (1991), “The development of adult muscles in Drosophila: ablation of identified muscle precursor cells.” Development 113(1):103-18 Details

    Currie DA, Bate M (1991), “The development of adult abdominal muscles in Drosophila: myoblasts express twist and are associated with nerves.” Development 113(1):91-102 Details

    Fernandes J, Bate M, Vijayraghavan K (1991), “Development of the indirect flight muscles of Drosophila.” Development 113(1):67-77 Details


    Bate M (1990), “The embryonic development of larval muscles in Drosophila.” Development 110(3):791-804 Details

    Broadie KS, Sylwester AW, Bate M, Tublitz NJ (1990), “Immunological, biochemical and physiological analyses of cardioacceleratory peptide 2 (CAP2) activity in the embryo of the tobacco hawkmoth Manduca sexta.” Development 108(1):59-71 Details

    Michelson AM, Abmayr SM, Bate M, Arias AM, Maniatis T (1990), “Expression of a MyoD family member prefigures muscle pattern in Drosophila embryos.” Genes Dev 4(12A):2086-97 Details


    Truman JW, Bate M (1988), “Spatial and temporal patterns of neurogenesis in the central nervous system of Drosophila melanogaster.” Dev Biol 125(1):145-57 Details


    Cabrera CV, Martinez-Arias A, Bate M (1987), “The expression of three members of the achaete-scute gene complex correlates with neuroblast segregation in Drosophila.” Cell 50(3):425-33 Details


    Thomas JB, Bastiani MJ, Bate M, Goodman CS (1984), “From grasshopper to Drosophila: a common plan for neuronal development.” Nature 310(5974):203-7 Details


    Whitington PM, Bate M, Seifert E, Ridge K, Goodman CS (1982), “Survival and differentiation of identified embryonic neurons in the absence of their target muscles.” Science 215(4535):973-5 Details


    Bate M, Goodman CS, Spitzer NC (1981), “Embryonic development of identified neurons: segment-specific differences in the H cell homologues.” J Neurosci 1(1):103-6 Details

    Goodman CS, Bate M, Spitzer NC (1981), “Embryonic development of identified neurons: origin and transformation of the H cell.” J Neurosci 1(1):94-102 Details