Drosphilia Blk Drosophilia Larvae Blk


Behavioural assays are easily conducted on adult and larval Drosophila in the Zantiks MWP.



Tracking Drosophila in a y-maze in the Zantiks MWP. The real-time video also displays the 6 different arenas, and then the four different zones in each arena. Video courtesy of Ameya Kasture, Thomas Hummel's lab, University of Vienna

Tracking adult Drosophila in the Zantiks MWP

Tracking larval Drosophila in an adapted Zantiks MWP

In development: tracking adult Drosophila in response to odour in the Zantiks AD

Real-time video of Drosophila in a 96-well plate.


Behavioural assays

Drosophila have a sophisticated range of behaviours including circadian rhythms, learning and memory, and sleep. Many of the genes and genetic pathways that drive these behaviours in Drosophila are found to be similar in humans, providing a powerful genetic model organism in which to study mechanisms of human disorders.

A wide variety of behavioural assays with Drosophila can be automated in the Zantiks MWP, as illustrated in the videos above, these include studies that look at:

  • Locomotion
  • Circadian rhythm, using light and dark stimuli
  • Feeding
  • Odour
  • Climbing

Drosophila, a model organism

Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit-fly, is one of the most extensively used model organisms in biomedical research. Drosophila has many advantages which has made it ideal to study the molecular mechanisms of behaviour, development and human diseases for more than a century. These fruit flies are easy and inexpensive to maintain in the laboratory and breed large numbers of genetically identical progeny. They also have a short generation cycle and life span making large scale, high-throughput genetic screening faster and more effective.

The well-developed genetic techniques and tools available for Drosophila allow investigation and modification of their genes quickly and easily. Drosophila and humans have shared evolutionary roots and many basic biological, physiological, and neurological processes are conserved between humans and Drosophila. They have tissues and organs that are functionally equivalent to mammalian structures (Neckameyer & Argue, 2013). The genome of Drosophila has been fully sequenced and many of the genes present in Drosophila are conserved in humans (Adams et al., 2000). About 75% of human disease-causing genes have an equivalent found in the fly, enabling modelling of many human diseases (Reiter et al., 2001).


Adams, M. D., Celniker, S. E., Holt, R. A., Evans, C. A., Gocayne, J. D., Amanatides, P. G., … & George, R. A. (2000). The genome sequence of Drosophila melanogaster. Science, 287(5461), 2185-2195.

Neckameyer, W. S., & Argue, K. J. (2013). Comparative approaches to the study of physiology: Drosophila as a physiological tool. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 304(3), R177-R188.

Reiter, L. T., Potocki, L., Chien, S., Gribskov, M., & Bier, E. (2001). A systematic analysis of human disease-associated gene sequences in Drosophila melanogaster. Genome research, 11(6), 1114-1125.