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  Section: Biotechnology Methods » Cell Biology and Genetics
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Culturing Techniques and Handling of Flies

Cell Biology and Genetics
  Cell Cycles
  Meiosis in Flower Buds of Allium Cepa-Acetocarmine Stain
  Meiosis in Grasshopper Testis (Poecilocerus Pictus)
  Mitosis in Onion Root Tip (Allium Cepa)
  Differential Staining of Blood
  Buccal Epithelial Smear and Barr Body
  Vital Staining of DNA and RNA in Paramecium
  Induction of Polyploidy
  Mounting of Genitalia in Drosophila Melanogaster
  Mounting of Genitalia in the Silk Moth Bombyx Mori
  Mounting of the Sex Comb in Drosophila Melanogaster
  Mounting of the Mouth Parts of the Mosquito
  Normal Human Karyotyping
  Black and White Film Development and Printing for Karyotype Analysis
  Study of Drumsticks in the Neutrophils of Females
  Study of the Malaria Parasite
  Vital Staining of DNA and RNA in Paramecium
  Sex-Linked Inheritance in Drosophila Melanogaster
  Preparation of Somatic Chromosomes from Rat Bone Marrow
  Chromosomal Aberrations
  Study of Phenocopy
  Study of Mendelian Traits
  Estimation of Number of Erythrocytes [RBC] in Human Blood
  Estimation of Number of Leucocytes (WBC) in Human Blood
  Culturing Techniques and Handling of Flies
  Life Cycle of the Mosquito (Culex Pipiens)
  Life Cycle of the Silkworm (Bombyx Mori)
  Vital Staining of Earthworm Ovary
  Culturing and Observation of Paramecium
  Culturing and Staining of E.coli (Gram’s Staining)
  Breeding Experiments in Drosophila Melanogaster
  Preparation of Salivary Gland Chromosomes
  Observation of Mutants in Drosophila Melanogaster
  ABO Blood Grouping and Rh Factor in Humans
  Determination of Blood Group and Rh Factor
  Demonstration of the Law of Independent Assortment
  Demonstration of Law of Segregation

Drosophila, like other animals, requires an optimum temperature for its survival, growth, and breeding (20°–25°C). The temperature around and above 31°C makes the flies sterile and reduces the oviposition; it may also result in death. At lower temperatures, the life cycle is prolonged and the viability may be impaired. The routinely used food media for the maintenance of Drosophila is “cream of wheat agar” medium.

The ingredients of this media for preparing culture bottles are as follows:
  • Distilled water – 1000 mL
  • Wheat flour (rava) – 100 gm
  • Jaggery – 100 gm
  • Agar agar – 10 gm
  • Propionic acid – 7.5 mL
  • Yeast granules.
Wheat flour and jaggery are boiled in distilled water until a paste is formed. To that, agar agar and yeast granules are added after cooling. Propionic acid is added to avoid fungal infection of the medium.

Heat-sterilized bottles should be used for preparing cultures. Similarly, sterilized cotton has to be used to plug the bottles. As the condition of the medium deteriorates with time, the flies have to be transferred from the old to new culture medium at least once in 3 weeks.

Whenever the flies have to be analyzed, either for routine observations or for experiments, they have to be anaesthetized to make them inactive. The procedure is to transfer the flies from the media bottle to another empty widemouthed bottle, referred to as an etherizer. The mouth of this bottle is covered with a stopper and sprayed with ether. It takes about a minute to anaesthetize the flies. After this, the flies are transferred to a glass plate for observation under a stereo zoom microscope. If the etherized flies revive before the completion of the observation, they have to be re-etherized using a re-etherizer (ether-soaked filter paper fitted in a petriplate, which has to be placed over the flies on the glass plate). The overetherized flies will have their wings and legs extended at right angles to the body, and such flies are considered to be dead.

The flies should be handled with a fine painting brush. In the process of handling the flies, care should be taken not to damage them. The flies should be discarded after observation.

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