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Fruit Fly Science Project

Graham Cromar/Annette Tavares-Cromar argiope at pathcom.com
Tue Dec 31 12:40:34 EST 1996

Sorry, missed the original message and am working from the short quote on
one response... The literature on Drosophila is vast and growing daily.  I
would suggest doing a few simple crosses to demonstrate some fundamental
genetic principles like segregation of alleles and independant assortment. 
You can look up these principles in a higher grade biology text book under
the topic of Mendilian inheritance (he worked with peas as you may recall).
 You should do crosses involving eye-colour (yes colour is spelled with a
'u' in Canada).  If you use red and white, you won't require a microscope
to discern the differences.  You should be able to get a couple of vials of
flies of each type (and some empties with media, and probably a loner on
some other tools) from your local college or university.  Fly-folks are
usually VERY helpful to those who express a genuine interest to learn. 
They can also give you lots of tips.  What you want to do in your
experiment is predict the numbers of progeny from a cross using mendilian
principles (red is a dominant gene, white is recessive).  Then, compare the
expected ratio of red-eyed offspring to white-eyed offspring to the actual
numbers obtained in the cross.  (Tip: you will have to collect virgin
female flies under 12 hours old to ensure they have only mated with your
selected males).  You may wish to investigate the X-square (Chi-square)
test as a simple statistical way to determine if your ratios differ
significantly from the expected results.  I'd be happy to answer any more
questions you might have.  Good Luck!

Graham L. Cromar
B.Sc. M.Sc. (Drosophila Genetics)
argiope at pathcom.com

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