Allele Frequency of Big Brain in Drosophila

Jun 30, 2009 by Ph.D Dimuth Siritunga

Students will use Drosophila melanogaster in a research-based teaching module on classical genetics. Given the amount of data expected, the students will do a realistic Hardy Weinberg analysis and will determine the allele frequencies for a particular molecular marker in Drosophila visualized via PCR. A genetics laboratory course is not complete without much emphasis given to molecular biology. At present two laboratory sessions are dedicated to molecular biology and Drosophila is not used. In this module the students will cross bar eye flies with black body flies permitting the understanding of the methodologies in Drosophila experimental set-up. The flies will be allowed to breed randomly for several generations. Individual students will grind and extract DNA from each fruit fly from the cross. Each student will prepare and run individual PCR using primers as described in Michalakis and Veuilli (1996). The students will run the amplicons on an agarose and characterize the bands obtained using ethidium bromide. The student’s data will be compiled by the laboratory coordinator and the group will be required to work cohesively to complete a work sheet during the lab session. Based on the compiled ‘long’ and ‘short’ band frequencies of the entire class, each student will analyze and compare the entire data set to the expected frequencies based on Hardy-Weinberg theory of genetic equilibrium using chi-square analysis. A questionnaire on research content, skills, tools and techniques will be offered on the first day of lab and after completing the lab module.

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