Fruit Flies (Drosophila Melanogaster)

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    Drosophila melanogaster is a species of fly (the taxonomic order Diptera) in the family Drosophilidae. The species is often referred to as the fruit fly or lesser fruit fly. Starting with Charles W. Woodworth's 1901 proposal of the use of this species as a model organism,[1][2] D. melanogaster continues to be widely used for biological research in genetics, physiology, microbial pathogenesis, and life history evolution. As of 2017, six Nobel Prizes have been awarded to drosophilists for their work using the insect.[3][4]

    D. melanogaster is typically used in research owing to its rapid life cycle, relatively simple genetics with only four pairs of chromosomes, and large number of offspring per generation.[5] It was originally an African species, with all non-African lineages having a common origin.[6] Its geographic range includes all continents, including islands.[7] D. melanogaster is a common pest in homes, restaurants, and other places where food is served.[8]

    See Also[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    1. T.H. Morgan's Nobel Prize biography mentioning C. W. Woodworth
    2. Holden B; "Charles W. Woodworth: The Remarkable Life of U.C.'s First Entomologist" , ISBN: 9780986410536
    3. Nobel Prizes, https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/oct/07/fruit-fly-fascination-nobel-prizes-genetics
    4. FruitFly-ResearchGate, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321176879
    5. Sang JH, Reeve EC (June 23, 2001). "Drosophila melanogaster: The Fruit Fly". Encyclopedia of genetics. USA: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, I. p. 157. ISBN 978-1-884964-34-3. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
    6. Baudry E et al.: Non-African populations of Drosophila melanogaster have a unique origin. Mol Biol Evol 2004. (PMID 15014160) [PubMed] [DOI] Drosophila melanogaster is widely used as a model in DNA variation studies. Patterns of polymorphism have, however, been affected by the history of this species, which is thought to have recently spread out of Africa to the rest of the world. We analyzed DNA sequence variation in 11 populations, including four continental African and seven non-African samples (including Madagascar), at four independent X-linked loci. Variation patterns at all four loci followed neutral expectations in all African populations, but departed from it in all non-African ones due to a marked haplotype dimorphism at three out of four loci. We also found that all non-African populations show the same major haplotypes, though in various frequencies. A parsimonious explanation for these observations is that all non-African populations are derived from a single ancestral population having undergone a substantial reduction of polymorphism, probably through a bottleneck. Less likely alternatives involve either selection at all four loci simultaneously (including balancing selection at three of them), or admixture between two divergent populations. Small but significant structure was observed among African populations, and there were indications of differentiation across Eurasia for non-African ones. Since population history may result in non-equilibrium variation patterns, our study confirms that the search for footprints of selection in the D. melanogaster genome must include a sufficient understanding of its history.
    7. Markow TA: The secret lives of Drosophila flies. Elife 2015. (PMID 26041333) [PubMed] [DOI] [Full text] Flies of the genus Drosophila, and particularly those of the species Drosophila melanogaster, are best known as laboratory organisms. As with all model organisms, they were domesticated for empirical studies, but they also continue to exist as wild populations. Decades of research on these flies in the laboratory have produced astounding and important insights into basic biological processes, but we have only scratched the surface of what they have to offer as research organisms. An outstanding challenge now is to build on this knowledge and explore how natural history has shaped D. melanogaster in order to advance our understanding of biology more generally.
    8. Vinegar Flies, Drosophila species, Family: Drosophilidae, http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/vinegar-flies