Drosophila Melanogaster

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  • Topic: Drosophila melanogaster, Sex linkage, Drosophila
  • Pages : 7 (2497 words )
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  • Published : February 5, 2007
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The purpose of the experiment that has been conducted is to breed Drosophila melanogaster for specific traits. We used a dihybrid cross where the traits were sex linked. The cross is considered dihybrid due to the fact that we are crossing two different traits. The traits used for this dihybrid cross experiment are white eyes (w) and vestigial wings (vg). The white eyes are the sex linked trait. These traits were taken and crossed with wild type D. melanogaster.

The experiment that we ran was to be completed by April 20, 2006. There are three other people that I worked with in this experiment, Melissa Broadway, Kelli Hand, and Erin Hill. Kelli and I did a cross that involved wild type/vestigial winged males and white eye/wild type females (fig. 1, 3, 4). Melissa and Erin did the reciprocal cross, which is white eye/wild type males and wild type/vestigial winged females (fig.2, 5, 6). When doing this dihybrid cross, Kelli and my results should have yielded a 3:3:1:1 ratio (wild type, white eye/wild type, wild type/vestigial wing, and white eye/vestigial wing) because our cross was sex linked in favor of the white eyes. Melissa and Erin's results were expected to be a ratio of 9:3:3:1, being wild type, wild type eye/vestigial wing, white eye/wild type wing, and white eye/vestigial wing, respectively.

Drosophila melanogaster are the simple breed of fruit flies that have been selected for the experiment. The life cycle of these organisms is not long, only lasting 50 days from birth. The life cycle from birth to adulthood is only 10-14 days. There are four distinct stages in the life cycle of Drosophila melanogaster. The first is being an egg, and this stage lasts for one day. The second stage is being larva and this lasts for six days. There are three sub-levels of this stage being the first-third instar. The third stage is when the D. melanogaster turns into a pupa, which lasts about 3-4 days. The last stage is the adult (imago) stage of the fruit flies' life, lasting up to thirty-seven days.

This fruit fly's diploid number (2n) is only 8 as opposed to the human number, which is 46. The diploid number is the total number of chromosomes found in every somatic cell or non-sex cell. The haploid number (n) is 4. Humans' haploid number is 23. The haploid number is half the total number of chromosomes and is only found in gametic cells, or sex cells. There are many characteristics that could have been used for this experiment, including different body color such as ebony and yellow, different wing types other than vestigial such as plexus wings or dumpy wings, and different eye color other than white such as brown eyes or sepia eyes. Eye shape and body shape can also be included in this list of characteristics. The characteristics that have been used in our experiment are wild type characteristics mixed with vestigial wings and white eyes. The vestigial wing characteristic is found on chromosome II located at 67.0. The white eye color characteristic is found on a different chromosome, chromosome I, at 1.5.

These organisms were selected for the experiment for a few reasons. One reason being that they are inexpensive and reproduce quickly, usually within the first eight hours out of becoming a pupa, since their life span is not very long. D. melanogaster also yield results that should easily follow Mendel's four postulates, which can be found on the Furman education website.

Male and female flies are fairly easy to tell apart. The males have round and cylindrical abdomen, while the female fly is generally the larger of the two and her abdomen is distended and pointed. The rear portion of the flies helps in distinguishing between the two as well. The males have fused bands and they are dark. It is clear to see that the females have alternating light and dark bands. A huge factor in distinguishing the sex of the fly is that only the males have sex combs, which...
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