23 Facts About Drosophila


Drosophila is a genus of flies, belonging to the family Drosophilidae, whose members are often called "small fruit flies" or pomace flies, vinegar flies, or wine flies, a reference to the characteristic of many species to linger around overripe or rotting fruit.

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One species of Drosophila in particular, D melanogaster, has been heavily used in research in genetics and is a common model organism in developmental biology.

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The terms "fruit fly" and "Drosophila" are often used synonymously with D melanogaster in modern biological literature.

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Drosophila species are small flies, typically pale yellow to reddish brown to black, with red eyes.

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Drosophila genome is subject to a high degree of selection, especially unusually widespread negative selection compared to other taxa.

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Drosophila species are found all around the world, with more species in the tropical regions.

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Drosophila made their way to the Hawaiian Islands and radiated into over 800 species.

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Several Drosophila species, including D melanogaster, D immigrans, and D simulans, are closely associated with humans, and are often referred to as domestic species.

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The other members of the genus Drosophila make relatively few giant sperm cells, with that of D bifurca being the longest.

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The female Drosophila has two sperm storage organs, the spermathecae and seminal receptacle, that allows her to choose the sperm that will be used to inseminate her eggs.

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Drosophila was in search of a model organism to study genetic heredity and required a species that could randomly acquire genetic mutation that would visibly manifest as morphological changes in the adult animal.

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However, some species of Drosophila are difficult to culture in the laboratory, often because they breed on a single specific host in the wild.

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Drosophila is considered one of the most impeccable genetic model organisms - they have furthered genetic research unlike any other model organisms.

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Drosophila is a prime candidate for genetic research because the relationship between human and fruit fly genes is very close.

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Research conducted on Drosophila help determine the ground rules for transmission of genes in many organisms.

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Drosophila is a useful in vivo tool to analyze Alzheimer's disease.

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Melanin's ability to protect DNA against ionizing radiation has been most extensively demonstrated in Drosophila, including in the formative study by Hopwood et al 1985.

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The S poulsonii strain of Drosophila neotestacea protects its host from parasitic wasps and nematodes using toxins that preferentially attack the parasites instead of the host.

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Drosophila species are prey for many generalist predators, such as robber flies.

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Hawaiian species of Drosophila are sometimes recognized as a separate genus or subgenus, Idiomyia, but this is not widely accepted.

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Several of the subgeneric and generic names are based on anagrams of Drosophila, including Dorsilopha, Lordiphosa, Siphlodora, Phloridosa, and Psilodorha.

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Drosophila species are extensively used as model organisms in genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and especially developmental biology.

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The Drosophila genome is often compared with the genomes of more distantly related species such as the honeybee Apis mellifera or the mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

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