Related topics: fruit flies

Freezing fruit flies for future function

The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has long been an important experimental model for biological research. While you may be eager to rid your kitchen of this unwanted pest, researchers in Japan have developed a new technique ...

So-called 'junk' DNA plays a key role in speciation

More than 10 percent of our genome is made up of repetitive, seemingly nonsensical stretches of genetic material called satellite DNA that do not code for any proteins. In the past, some scientists have referred to this DNA ...

Controlling carbs and fat: Learning from the fruit fly

Incretins are hormones secreted by intestinal cells that regulate pancreatic insulin and glucagon to control sugar metabolism in mammals. Although counterparts of insulin and glucagon have been identified in invertebrates, ...

Wolbachia and the paradox of growth regulation

Despite having been formalized as a species in 1936, Wolbachia pipientis remains an elusive microbe. The reason why relates to the relationship it establishes with its hosts. Wolbachia lives inside the cells of 40% of the ...

Choosy female fruit flies reproduce anyway

Choosiness will lead to the best offspring. Being too choosy, however, could in the end result in no offspring at all. Female fruit flies have a solution to this dilemma.

New method preserves viable fruit fly embryos in liquid nitrogen

Cryopreservation, or the long-term storage of biomaterials at ultralow temperatures, has been used across cell types and species. However, until now, the practical cryopreservation of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster)—which ...

Young male fruit flies make females fight each other more

Mating changes female behavior across a wide range of animals, with these changes induced by components of the male ejaculate, such as sperm and seminal fluid proteins. However, males can vary significantly in their ejaculates, ...

How insects detect color

Biologists have identified fundamental mechanisms in visual information processing in fruit flies.

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Drosophila

Drosophila is a genus of small flies, belonging to the family Drosophilidae, whose members are often called "fruit flies" or more appropriately (though less frequently) pomace flies, vinegar flies, or wine flies, a reference to the characteristic of many species to linger around overripe or rotting fruit. They should not be confused with the Tephritidae, a related family, which are also called fruit flies (sometimes referred to as "true fruit flies"); tephritids feed primarily on unripe or ripe fruit, with many species being regarded as destructive agricultural pests, especially the Mediterranean fruit fly. 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. Indeed, the terms "fruit fly" and "Drosophila" are often used synonymously with D. melanogaster in modern biological literature. The entire genus, however, contains more than 1,500 species and is very diverse in appearance, behavior, and breeding habitat.

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