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BYS219L – Spring 2010. Introduction to Drosophila melanogaster. Model organisms. Easy experimentation Many similarities to humans Well-understood. See inside cover of textbook (Griffiths). Drosophila melanogaster , the fruitfly. Kingdom: animalia Class: insecta Diet: Rotting fruit

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BYS219L – Spring 2010

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Bys219l spring 2010

BYS219L – Spring 2010

Introduction to Drosophila melanogaster

Model organisms

Model organisms

  • Easy experimentation

  • Many similarities to humans

  • Well-understood

See inside cover of textbook (Griffiths)

Drosophila melanogaster the fruitfly

Drosophila melanogaster, the fruitfly

Kingdom: animalia

Class: insecta

Diet: Rotting fruit

Size: 0.5mm

See textbook (Griffiths 9th edition) pages 770-771 (Appendix A)

The fly room

The “Fly Room”

Columbia University, New York, 1919

Thomas Hunt Morgan

Worked out mechanisms of inheritance

Why use fruitflies

Why use fruitflies?

  • Easy to handle (small, harmless)

  • Fast generation time (10 days egg to adult)

  • Genome sequenced

  • 75% of human disease genes have a match in the Drosophila genome

  • Sexual Reproduction

Microscopic genetic analysis

Microscopic/Genetic Analysis

A confocal micrograph of several segments of the Drosophila embryonic Central Nervous System showing a subset of interneurons (green) with axon projections crossing the CNS midline. The entire axon scaffold is shown in red. (

Bonini et al., 2009 (Nature)

Top row: external view, depigmentation

Bottom row: retinal cryosections

Mutant drosophila

Mutant Drosophila

Antennae  Legs


Drosophila life cycle

Drosophila life cycle

1 Day as egg

7 Days as larva

2 Days as pupa

10 days total from egg to sexual maturity.

Life cycle photographic view

Life Cycle: Photographic View

Graphic: Whitington lab, University of Melbourne

Sexual dimorphism

Sexual Dimorphism


Larger, no dark pigmentation, no sex combs

Exploratorium Microscope Imaging Station

Additional images edwards lab illinois state u

Additional images (Edwards lab, Illinois State U.)

Sex combs on males

Sex Combs (on males)

This is the most accurate marker for identifying male/female drosophila

Edwards Lab, UIllinois

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