The “Q-system” is a versatile repressible binary expression system that works effectively in a variety of organisms (e.g., worms, flies, plants, and mosquitoes). It consists of three main components: the QF transcription factor, the QS suppressor of QF, and a QUAS-effector

Primary Papers

QF: *Potter CJ, *Tasic B, Russler EV, Liang L, Luo L. The Q System: A Repressible Binary System for Transgene Expression, Lineage Tracing, and Mosaic Analysis. Cell. 2010;141(3):536-548; *denotes equal contribution  Link

QF2, QF2w: Riabinina O, Luginbuhl D, Marr E, Liu S, Wu MN, Luo L, Potter CJ. Improved and Expanded Q-System Reagents for Genetic Manipulations. Nature Methods. 2015;12(3):219-222.  Link


Riabinina, OPotter, CJ. “The Q-system: A Versatile Expression System for Drosophila.” Drosophila: Methods and Protocols, Second Edition. Ed. C. Dahmann. New York: Humana Press, 2016. 53-78.  Link

Potter CJ, Luo L. Using the Q System in Drosophila Melanogaster. Nature Protocols. 2011;6(8):1105-1120.  Link

Recommended Plasmids



(Note: QF2 was originally named QF#7 in the experiments during its development. Similarly, QF2w was originally named QF#7m1. The Addgene links above take you to the correct plasmid.)

Q-system DNA plasmids at Addgene:
Potter Lab plasmids  |  Q-system plasmids from Potter, 2010

We included full GenBank files with our submissions to Addgene.

Q-system fly stocks at Bloomington:  Link