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runny fly food

Emma Rushton rushton at biology.utah.edu
Sat Feb 23 09:48:21 EST 2002

Hi all, I wonder if anyone can help me with a problem we are having 
with our fly food.  There are three phenotypes, not necessarily 

One is that the food separates somewhat after pouring.  There is a 
rather clear agar layer over the cornmeal layer.  Another is that if 
you stick your finder in the tube, the food is not very firm - you 
can easily mash it.  These two phenotypes were improved but not cured 
when I asked the technicians to autoclave the agar before adding it 
to the cornmeal mixture (to ensure the agar got boiled).  The third 
problem, and the one that really upsets everyone is that after larvae 
start working the food, the top layer turns to liquid.  You cannot 
transfer the adults safely because the food comes pouring out as 
well.  For the time being we are adding tissues to important tubes, 
but we need a solution to the problem.  Since autoclaving the agar, 
the food doesn't appear separated, but the food still becomes liquid 
when larvae start eating it.

We've had at least the last part of the problem for about 2 months, 
and the technicians swear that nothing changed about the way they do 

We use a steam kettle and a 100-hole pull handle dispenser.  The 
recipe is cornmeal/cornsyrup/malt/yeast/agar recipe.

We will be exceedingly grateful for any help.  Please email your 
answers to rushton at biology.utah.edu.  Thanks!

Emma Rushton,
Department of Biology,
University of Utah,
257 South, 1400 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0840

(801) 585-1926 (office)
(801) 585-9425 (lab)
(801) 581-4668 (fax)

rushton at biology.utah.edu


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