Drosophila - Megan Lawless Bio 125 The significance of the...

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Megan Lawless Bio 125 September 12, 2007 The significance of the Drosophila melanogaster genome Drosophila melanogaster was one of the first model organisms for genetic research. In AP Biology I worked with fruit flies for six weeks. We got through a couple generations and tracked the trait of eye color to determine if it was sex-linked. The fact that we were working with D. melanogaster goes to show that it is a very widely studied organism. There are several reasons for this. First of all, they are very small and therefore are easily and inexpensively raised in laboratories. They also have a short life cycle that makes multi-generational study possible in a relatively short period of time. In addition to this, females produce many eggs during their lives, resulting in a large population for study. It has also been observed that fruit flies have giant "polytene" chromosomes in the glands of the mature larvae. More recently it has been discovered that D. melanogaster has a relatively small genome, and that mutations can be targeted to specific genes.
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