Title

Using Artificial Selection to Understand Orientation Behavior in Drosophila

Date

5-26-2016 4:00 PM

End Time

26-5-2016 4:15 PM

Location

WUC Columbia Room

Department

Biology

Session Chair

Kristin Latham

Session Chair

Jeff Snyder

Session Title

Research in the Biological Sciences

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Kristin Latham

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is commonly used to understand the genetic mechanisms of behavior. We are testing whether Drosophila have a directional preference based on the Earth’s magnetic field and whether this preference has genetic underpinnings. We have performed 15 generations of selection for directional preference using a sequential Y-maze and have bred north-selected and south-selected populations using this method. We have begun testing the original population of flies, the 15th generation of north-selected flies, and the 15th generation of south-selected flies to determine if the populations show behavioral differences. We have also performed runs of naïve flies through the maze while housed within a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage blocks any local interfering electric fields that may be altering the flies’ choices within the maze. Ultimately, these experiments will lead to a better understanding of the potential genetics of magnetic orientation in Drosophila.

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May 26th, 4:00 PM May 26th, 4:15 PM

Using Artificial Selection to Understand Orientation Behavior in Drosophila

WUC Columbia Room

The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is commonly used to understand the genetic mechanisms of behavior. We are testing whether Drosophila have a directional preference based on the Earth’s magnetic field and whether this preference has genetic underpinnings. We have performed 15 generations of selection for directional preference using a sequential Y-maze and have bred north-selected and south-selected populations using this method. We have begun testing the original population of flies, the 15th generation of north-selected flies, and the 15th generation of south-selected flies to determine if the populations show behavioral differences. We have also performed runs of naïve flies through the maze while housed within a Faraday cage. A Faraday cage blocks any local interfering electric fields that may be altering the flies’ choices within the maze. Ultimately, these experiments will lead to a better understanding of the potential genetics of magnetic orientation in Drosophila.