Dr. Benjamin Altenhein


PD Dr. Benjamin Altenhein
Junior Group Leader
Institute for Genetics, JGU
J.-J.-Becherweg 32, 55122 Mainz
Web page

Research Interests

My group works on various aspects of glial cell biology in Drosophila melanogaster. Though neurons and glial cells derive from the same set of progenitors or stem cells, they differ in nearly all aspects of cell biology, physiology and behaviour. How are these differences acquired? In particular, my research focuses on aspects of

  • Glial cell specification and differentiation
  • Glial cell function in embryonic and larval development
  • Signalling cascades involved in glial cell migration
  • Behavioral studies and implications of glia-neuron interactions

Key techniques: Molecular biology, immunohistochemistry, 4D microscopy and cell ablation, genetics, cell tracing, behavioural studies

Research system/organism: Drosophila melanogaster

Five Most Relevant Publications
  1. Altenhein, B.*, Becker, A.*, Busold, C., Beckmann, B., Hoheisel, J. D., and Technau, G. M. (2006). Expression profiling of glial genes during Drosophila embryogenesis. Dev Biol 296, 545-60.
  2. Beckervordersandforth, R. M., Rickert, C., Altenhein, B., and Technau, G. M. (2008). Subtypes of glial cells in the Drosophila embryonic ventral nerve cord as related to lineage and gene expression. Mech Dev 125, 542-57.
  3. von Hilchen, C. M., Beckervordersandforth, R. M., Rickert, C., Technau, G. M., and Altenhein, B. (2008). Identity, origin, and migration of peripheral glial cells in the Drosophila embryo. Mech Dev 125, 337-52.
  4. von Hilchen. C.M., Hein, I., Technau, G. M., Altenhein, B. (2010). Netrins guide migration of distinct glial cells in the Drosophila embryo. Development 137(8): 1251-1262.
  5. von Hilchen, C. M., Bustos, A. E., Giangrande, A., Technau, G. M., Altenhein, B. (2013). "Predetermined embryonic glial cells form the distinct glial sheaths of the Drosophila peripheral nervous system." Development 140(17): 3657-3668.