Behavioural assays are easily conducted on adult and larval Drosophila in the Zantiks MWP unit.
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).
Drosophila have a sophisticated range of behaviours, including circadian rhythms, learning & 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 including:
- Circadian rhythm
- Startle response
- Response to odour
Adult Drosophila startle to a light pulse. Filmed at 600 frames per second.
Tracking Drosophila in a y-maze in the Zantiks MWP. The real-time video also displays the 6 arenas, and four zones within each arena. Video courtesy of Ameya Kasture, Thomas Hummel's lab, University of Vienna
Tracking adult Drosophila in the Zantiks MWP
Startle response of Drosophila to light stimulation in the Zantiks MWP
Time-lapse of Drosophila eclosion in the Zantiks MWP
Tracking 1st instar Drosophila larvae in 6 well plate in the Zantiks MWP (5 x speed) using the standard IR lighting settings
Tracking 2nd instar Drosophila larvae in 6 well plate in the Zantiks MWP (5 x speed) using the standard IR lighting settings
Tracking 3rd instar Drosophila larvae in 6 well plate in the Zantiks MWP (5 x speed) using the standard IR lighting settings
Tracking of multiple 3rd instar Drosophila larvae in the Zantiks LT using the standard IR lighting settings (multiple animals in same arena under development)
Real-time video of Drosophila in a 96-well plate in the Zantiks MWP.
In development: tracking adult Drosophila in response to odour. Animals are placed in a circular arena with 4 quadrants. Benzaldehyde is pumped into 2 quadrants.