Title

Using artificial selection to understand orientation behavior in Drosophila

Date

5-28-2015 2:00 PM

End Time

28-5-2015 4:00 PM

Location

Werner University Center (WUC) Pacific Room

Department

Biology

Session Chair

Ava Howard

Session Chair

Jeffrey Snyder

Session Title

Research in the Biological Sciences

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Kristin Latham and Mike Baltzley

Presentation Type

Poster session

Abstract

The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is commonly used to understand the genetic mechanisms of behavior. Using this model organism, we are testing whether Drosophila has directional preference based on the Earth’s magnetic field and whether this preference has genetic underpinnings. To examine this, we are using a directional choice maze oriented so flies make a sequence of 10 choices of whether to go North or South. We are attempting to breed both North-seeking and South-seeking populations. For the North-seeking population of flies that exit the maze, we select the Northernmost 20% and these flies give rise to the next generation. A similar selection is used for South-seeking populations. Successive generations are run through the maze for 15 generations. Our preliminary data shows that wild-type Drosophila have no innate preference when it comes to North and South, however it remains to be seen whether we can select for directional preference over 15 generations. At this point in the experiment, the twelfth generation of flies has completed the maze trials. As a positive control, we are also performing similar experiments with light-seeking and dark-seeking flies. Previous research on phototaxis suggested that a separation between light-seeking and dark-seeking populations becomes noticeable after 10 generations. At this point, we are seeing evidence of behavioral separation between our light-seeking and dark-seeking populations, but not between our North-seeking and South-seeking populations. Ultimately, this experiment will lead to a better understanding of the potential genetics of magnetic orientation and directional preference in flies, which has been documented in other organisms.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 28th, 2:00 PM May 28th, 4:00 PM

Using artificial selection to understand orientation behavior in Drosophila

Werner University Center (WUC) Pacific Room

The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is commonly used to understand the genetic mechanisms of behavior. Using this model organism, we are testing whether Drosophila has directional preference based on the Earth’s magnetic field and whether this preference has genetic underpinnings. To examine this, we are using a directional choice maze oriented so flies make a sequence of 10 choices of whether to go North or South. We are attempting to breed both North-seeking and South-seeking populations. For the North-seeking population of flies that exit the maze, we select the Northernmost 20% and these flies give rise to the next generation. A similar selection is used for South-seeking populations. Successive generations are run through the maze for 15 generations. Our preliminary data shows that wild-type Drosophila have no innate preference when it comes to North and South, however it remains to be seen whether we can select for directional preference over 15 generations. At this point in the experiment, the twelfth generation of flies has completed the maze trials. As a positive control, we are also performing similar experiments with light-seeking and dark-seeking flies. Previous research on phototaxis suggested that a separation between light-seeking and dark-seeking populations becomes noticeable after 10 generations. At this point, we are seeing evidence of behavioral separation between our light-seeking and dark-seeking populations, but not between our North-seeking and South-seeking populations. Ultimately, this experiment will lead to a better understanding of the potential genetics of magnetic orientation and directional preference in flies, which has been documented in other organisms.