Fruit flies are a classic model organism for studying genetics. Fruit flies. Drosophila melanogaster share up to 60% of their DNA with humans which means by studying fruit flies we can also study a lot about human genetics. In class students completed a fruit fly digital lab in which they cross-bred flies and looked at the resulting genotypes and phenotypes of the offspring. The trait we focused on was wing shape. Normal wings are straight but a mutant wing shape of "curly" is possible when a single dominant allele for curly shape is present. Students also spent time researching the importance of fruit flies in the study of human diseases as well as why they are such a great model organism. You can download the worksheet for this lab below.
Mr. Powell is a High School Science Teacher in Western Colorado.