Drosophila melanogaster is a species of flies more commonly known as fruit flies. These flies are native to the Old World Tropics, but humans have spread Drosophila melanogaster to every continent except for Antarctica. However, its range is limited by mountains, deserts, and high altitudes.
Fruit flies are tan in color and about 3 mm in length and 2 mm in width. They have three main body segments and three pairs of segmented legs, as well as a rounded head with large compound red eyes and three smaller eyes between the other large eyes.
Drosophila melanogaster start in an egg. A day after fertilization, the egg hatches into a larva, or maggot. After four to five days as a larva, the fruit fly turns into a pupa. It develops over the next four days to form into an adult fruit fly, and is fertile within the next twelve hours.
There are many differentiating features between male and female fruit flies. Male fruit flies have a round, dark bottom and females have a pointed and striped bottom. Male fruit flies are smaller than females and have sex combs, which females do not. Sex combs are a short row of bristles appearing as a dark mass on the front legs, and are used for reproduction.
There are many differences between wild and vestigial fruit flies. First, wild flies have fully functional wings and are able to fly. However, vestigial flies have crumpled mutated wings that leave them unable to fly. Wild flies carry dominant traits and vestigial flies carry recessive traits. Recessive traits must be carried by both parents, which is why so little flies turned out vestigial.
Fruit flies are a great model organism for understanding genetics. Fruit flies share 75% of the genes that cause disease with humans, and 50% of fly protein sequences have mammalian homologs. These similarities help scientists understand human genetics better. Fruit flies are also small, which allows scientists to keep millions of them at once. Fruit flies are perfect for experimenting because of their short life cycle, so they can lay hundreds of eggs within their short life spans of 40-50 days. These factors make the fruit fly the perfect model organism.
Fruit flies have 4 pairs of chromosomes, with 3 pairs being autosomes and the last pair being the sex chromosomes. The traits discussed during this investigation are found on chromosome 2.
In the F1 generation, it is most likely that 50% of the offspring will be female and 50% will be male. This is because the gender depends on what the chromosome from the sperm cell is, which is completely up to chance. If the chromosome is X, it will fuse with the X chromosome of the egg and become a female, and if the chromosome is Y, it will fuse with the X chromosome of the egg and become a male.
In the F1 generation, it is most likely that 100% of the offspring will be wild. This is because wild flies carry the dominant gene and vestigial flies carry the recessive gene, so the offspring w...