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Biological Testing in Fruit Flies

Why the fruit fly?

The fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) has become extremely important in scientific research. It is not only the most well understood of all model organisms, but also low in cost to maintain, provide a rapid regeneration cycle and are supplied with excellent genetic tools. The genetic genome of D. melanogaster is very closely related to that of the human species, which makes this organism the most common model for research in genetics, disease, bioengineering, regenerative biology and so much more.


WPC Objective

Developing and maintaining a sustainable colony of Drosophila melanogaster and appropriate protocols for administering ginseng extracts and other botanical products to study their efficacy and safety.

 Current research at WPC

  • Longevity

  • Reproduction studies


Parameters examined.

  • Activity behaviour through negative geotaxis testing

  • Mating behaviour

  • egg and larva counts

  • hatchability post-mating

 Treatment with nutraceuticals

  • Incorporation into food 

  • Dose response studies

Adult Female 

D. melanogaster

Distinguishing features:

- larger in size

- more defined markings

- no sex combs on fore legs

Adult Male

D. melanogaster

Distinguishing features:

- smaller in size

- less defined markings

- no sex combs on fore legs

Microscope spread of D. melanogaster adults

Microscope image of D. melanogaster egg

Microscope image of D. melanogaster larva (red) and pupa (blue)
Dark pupa, circled in blue, are flies close to emergence as an adult fly

Complete life cycle of D. melanogaster

From the time the female lays the eggs to the emergence of an adult fruit fly takes about 10 days:

  • egg to larva in 12 hrs

  • larvae to pupa 4 days

  • pupa to adult 5 days

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