Drosophila Melanogaster Characteristics

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Drosophila melanogaster, a species of common fruit flies, is widely used for biological research in studies amongst geneticists around the world. For many different reasons, these miniature organisms have become a favorite model organism for geneticists, biologists, physiologists, and many other scientists today, the obvious ones being their low cost, easy maintenance, ten-day generation time, and the fact that they produce large quantities of progeny. Besides these reasons, this species has more advantages for genetic analyses. While most organisms have a higher chromosome count, D. melanogaster has only four chromosome pairs, three pairs of autosomal chromosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes, making it fairly easy to determine on what chromosome …show more content…
The main phenotypic characteristic is the 45-degree extension and 30 degree elevation of the wings. Since this is so easy to see (a stereomicroscope is hardly needed for viewing), Dichaete is one of the most commonly used mutations in fly labs. One of the gene 's most important functions is that it encodes a SOX-domain protein required for embryonic segmentation. The gene plays a key role in the early development of D. melanogaster, also supporting the transcriptional regulation of necessary developmental genes rather than regulating any one of the genes (Russell, 1996). Another name for Dichaete is fish-hook (symbol: fish). An experiment was performed in where the expression of two key developmental regulators, wingless (wg) and engrailed (en), was examined in fish (or Dichaete) mutant clones. It was discovered that the fish function is required for wg expression in the larval developmental stages. On the other hand, the loss of fish function is related to analyzed defects in the en expression. This study shows that these three genes are somehow interrelated, and that fish is very necessary in the regulation of larval gene expression and cell differentiation (Mukherjee, 2000). Other findings have shown that D. melanogaster has four group B Sox genes (Dichaete genes), while there are five of these genes in vertebrates. Also, the genes in D. melanogaster contain introns and those in vertebrates don 't. Genome sequences of various insects were searched for potential Sox domain genes, to see if this phenomenon was unique to D. melanogaster. The genomes of three different species (Drosophila pseudoobscura, Anopheles gambiae, and Apis mellifere) were searched and the results suggested that there is a single orthologue of each Drosophila group B Sox gene in each of these three other

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