Poster Title

Observing Epigenetic Effects in Drosophila

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

85

KY Senate District #

15

Abstract

The study of epigenetics, potentially heritable changes in gene expression rather than changes in the genes themselves, is a rapidly growing field. This experiment looks at modifying the environment and behaviors of adult fruit flies, primarily through diet, to determine the effects on the offspring of the adult flies. Drosophila are commonly used to model human systems and interactions, and their short reproductive span and relatively simple genome make them an ideal organism for this experiment. Larva will be placed in tubes containing various nutrient sources during the first instar stage of larval development to ensure that they have maximum exposure to each variable. Once they have reproduced, their offspring will be transferred in groups of one hundred to a new tube containing a normally balanced nutrition source. Larval behaviors such as body wall contractions, developmental time frames, time frame for developmental stages, ratio of pupae development and hatching, and adult survival and lifespan will be used to compare to a group of flies experiencing normal nutrition and conditions. This investigation is not complete as of this time.

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Observing Epigenetic Effects in Drosophila

The study of epigenetics, potentially heritable changes in gene expression rather than changes in the genes themselves, is a rapidly growing field. This experiment looks at modifying the environment and behaviors of adult fruit flies, primarily through diet, to determine the effects on the offspring of the adult flies. Drosophila are commonly used to model human systems and interactions, and their short reproductive span and relatively simple genome make them an ideal organism for this experiment. Larva will be placed in tubes containing various nutrient sources during the first instar stage of larval development to ensure that they have maximum exposure to each variable. Once they have reproduced, their offspring will be transferred in groups of one hundred to a new tube containing a normally balanced nutrition source. Larval behaviors such as body wall contractions, developmental time frames, time frame for developmental stages, ratio of pupae development and hatching, and adult survival and lifespan will be used to compare to a group of flies experiencing normal nutrition and conditions. This investigation is not complete as of this time.