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A Study Of Inheritable Traits in Fruit Flies INTRODUCTION The Drosophila melanogaster, more commonly called the fruit fly, is a favorite species used in genetic experiments. In actuality, Thomas Hunt Morgan started using Drosophila in the early 1900's to study genes and their relation to certain chromosomes(Biology 263). Researchers have found over 500 genes on the four chromosomes from the fly. There are many advantages in using Drosophila for these types of studies. Drosophila melanogaster can lay hundreds of eggs following just one mating, and have a generation time of 2 weeks at 21°C(Genetics: Drosophila Crosses 9). Another reason for using fruit flies is they mature rather rapidly and do not require very much distance. Drosophila melanogaster has a life cycle of four particular stages. The first stage is the egg, which is about. 5mm long. In the 24 hours once the fly is in the egg stage, numerous cleavage nuclei form. Next, the egg hatches to reveal the larva. During this stage, growth and molting occur. Once growth is complete, the Drosophila enter the pupal stage, where it develops into an adult through metamorphosis. Upon reaching adulthood, the flies are ready to mate and produce the next generation of Drosophila melanogaster. During this experiment, monohybrid and dihybrid crosses were conducted with Drosophila melanogaster. Our objective was to analyze the inheritance from 1 generation to the next. We collected the data from the crosses and analyzed them in relation to the expected effects. MATERIALS AND METHODS For the monohybrid cross in this experiment, we used an F1 generation, which resulted from the mating of a male homozygous wild-type eyed fly with a female homozygous sepia eyed fly. Males and females are distinguished by differences in body shape and size. Men have a darker and rounder abdomen in comparison with females, which can be somewhat more pointed. Another difference occurs on the forelegs of the flies--males have a small bump called sex combs. At week 0, after being anaesthitized by fly-nap, three males and three females were identified under a dissecting microscope and placed in a plastic vial with a foam stopper at the end. The vial remained on it's side until the flies regained consciousness so they didn't get trapped by the culture medium at the bottom. We allowed the Drosophila to incub...