Thursday, May 22, 2014

Drosophila Melanogaster Model Organism

As previously mentioned, the fruit fly gene is studied extensively in genetics. Why is that so? Here are a few reasons why scientists use the fruit flies DNA as a model for genetic research.
Fruit flies breed quickly and cost almost nothing to grow thousands at a time in a controlled environment. In addition, the female fruit flies lay up to 400 eggs every 16 days or so which helps the population grow quickly.
Its easy to accelerate their growth (from egg to larvae for example) by introducing heat. This can reduce the egg stage of the fruit fly development to as little as 7 days.
The fruit flies have very large chromosomes (part of the DNA membrane) that can easily be studied via a microscope and mapped into specific gene characteristics. This allows for easy manipulation of the Drosophila Melanogaster genes and this is the reason for the thousands of fruit fly species we have in the world today, despite there only being a couple hundred initially in nature.
The gene was mapped in the year 2000 which allows scientists to genetically modify the fruit fly with a very high success rate. This ability has fast tracked many genetic research projects as scientists have a base from which to work.



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