Drosophila melanogaster, also known as the fruit fly, has been used as an experimental organism for over 100 years and has been responsible for a number of seminal discoveries in the areas of genetics and cell signalling, and has helped us to better understand embryonic development.
The fruit flies are small and easy to grow in the lab, females are about 2.5 millimeters (0.098 inches) long; males are slightly smaller with darker backs. In nature, they feed on the yeast growing on rotting fruit and vegetables and can be a real pest for homes and restaurants. In the lab, they are grown on yeast jelly on which they feed and breed. After mating with males, females lay about 400 eggs into the yeast jelly. At 25 C (77C), it takes
Mutants are available for a large number of genes and new mutations can be induced easily by exposing flies to radiation or adding mutagenic chemicals to their food. The fly genome, which was sequenced in the year 2001, is about 165 million base pairs spread over 4 chromosomes and contains approximately 14,000 genes. Its significant contributions to biology are: Understanding the role of chromosomes on heredity, understanding the roles of genes and mutations in embryonic development, and in signal transduction pathways.
Head air sac