Determining Inheritance Patterns by Studying Alleles That Cause Ebony Bodies and Vestigial Wings in Drosophila Melanogaster

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Drosophila flies are little fruit flies that love to land on sweet fruits and lay their eggs on them. Their cellular and molecular detail is beyond expected and have very similar inheritance patterns to humans. Their features and characteristics are far from simple, and even though they are very small fruit flies, they are the perfect experiment subjects for Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetic studies. This is because they are easily cultured in the lab, have a short generation time, and can produce many offspring. Other attributes to experimenting with D. Melanogaster is that the species is sexually dimorphic making it easy to differentiate between the two sexes (Demerec & Kaufman/1996). In order to determine their inheritance of different traits and different forms of each trait, in a stock of Drosophila with an unknown genetic makeup, controlled matings are made in a research lab. By doing these controlled matings, it can be determined which traits are dominant, recessive, X-linked, or autosomal. Also, it can be determined if the Inheritance patterns are Mendelian or None-Mendelian (Marshall P/2010).

When using Drosophila flies as experimental subjects in genetics, it is necessary to start the experiment by first understanding the intricate and fast paced life cycle of Drosophila. The life cycle includes 4 stages that conclude in about 13 days, possibly more or less days depending on the culture temperatures. For example, the egg-larval stage can be shortened with a temperature of 25o C instead of 20oC and all through the life cycles the temperature should be not be below 20oC or above 25oC (Demerec & Kaufmann Pg. 3). It all starts with a male courting a female after which the male inseminates the female with his sperm. T...

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...if they are sex linked or not. Studies like these can help scientists unlock the mechanism behind how Mendelian and non-Mendelian genetic works.

Works Cited

Brooker, Robert J. Genetics: Analysis & Principles. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print.

Carlson A E. Mendel’s legacy : the origin of classical genetics. Cold Spring Harbor (NY): Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 2004. 332 p.

Demerec & Kaufman. Drosophila Guide Tenth Edition. Washington D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington.; 1996. 46 p.

Greenspan R J. Fly pushing : the theory and practice of Drosophila genetics. Plainview (NY): Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1997. 155 p.

Kohler R E. Lords of the fly : Drosophila genetics and the experimental life. Chicago (IL): University of Chicago Press; 1994. 321 p.

Marshall P. 2010. LSC348 Laboratory Manual. Arizona State University.

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