Observing Microevolution in Drosophila melanogaster Over Three Generations.docx

Observing Microevolution in Drosophila melanogaster Over Three Generations.docx

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“Observing Microevolution in Drosophila melanogaster Over Three Generations” Bryanna Tanase Bio Gang-Group 1 BSC 2011L-003 February 26, 2018
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Introduction Evolution in a scientific sense is the changes that occur in a population from generation to generation (Urry et al, 2016). Natural selection plays a large role in evolution by changing the frequency of the traits that give a population reproductive advantages over time, by favoring one trait over the other (University of South Florida, 2017). The favoritism of traits depending on environmental conditions is what enables individuals to evolve (Urry et al. 2016). The Hardy Weinberg equation has been used as a tool in population genetics since it was discovered in the 1900’s (Hernandez and Weir, 1989). The law states that in a population of randomly mating organisms with non-overlapping generations, the allele and genotype frequencies will not change provided that migration, mutation and natural selection do not occur (Hernandez and Weir, 1989). If a population has two alleles (A and a), the genotypic frequencies as given by the Hardy Weinberg equation are p 2 + 2pq +q^2=1 where p is the allele frequency of genotype A and q is the allele frequency of genotype a (Hernandez and Weir, 1989). This equation is used as a baseline in population genetics as a comparison between the hypothetical non evolving population and the real population to determine whether or not a population is evolving (University of South Florida 2017). In order to study evolution in populations, as well as other topics in genetics, a model organism is used. Drosophila melanogaster , or the common fruit fly, is a well-studied organism used to understand more about genetics (Steinberg and Cosloy, 2006). Thomas Hunt Morgan was the first to use D. melanogaster for genetic experiments in 1908 because they were easy to breed, had only a two-week generation time, and were cheap and easy to maintain (Cullen, 2006) All insects, including D. melanogaster , share the same general life cycle. In the first stage, larvae hatch from eggs and spend most of their life feeding and growing. Then the larvae will find a
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