The Drosophila melanogaster reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Drosophila melanogaster

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Drosophila melanogaster
Image:Drosm3.gif
Male Drosophila melanogaster
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order:Diptera
Family:Drosophilidae
Genus:Drosophila
Species:melanogaster
Binomial nomenclature
Drosophila melanogaster

Drosophila melanogaster (black-bellied dew-lover) a dipteran (two-winged) insect, is the species of fruit fly that is commonly used in genetic experiments.

Oogenesis
The life cycle of Drosophila melanogaster at 25 °C takes only 2 weeks. Females lay eggs (embryos) that eclose after 24 h. During oogenesis, cytoplasmic bridges connect the forming oocyte to nurse cells. Nutrients and developmental control molecules move from the nurse cells into the oocyte. In the image shown (to left), the forming oocyte can be seen to be covered by follicular support cells. The resulting larvae grow for 5 d while molting twice, at about 24 and 48 h after eclosion, before encapsulating in the puparium and undergoing a five-day-long metamorphosis.

Females first mate about 8 hours after emergence. The females store sperm from previous males they mated with for later use. For this reason geneticists must collect the female fly before her first mating, that is, a virgin female, and ensure that she mates only with the particular male needed for the experiment.

Drosophila melanogaster was chosen as a genetic animal model at the beginning of the twentieth century by Nobel Prize winner Thomas Hunt Morgan. Since then it has been a very successful animal model for biological research, for several reasons:

In the molecular biology community, Drosophila geneticists are known for their relatively whimsical naming of discovered gene mutations. Compared to the stodgy (but perhaps more practical) "cdc4", "cdk4", etc. names in the yeast genome, Drosophila sports such favorites as "cheap date" (a mutation leading to increased sensitivity to ethanol intoxication) and "snafu" (a mutation leading to grotesque anatomical abnormalities).

See also

External links