Overview: Fruit flies—the genetic whipping boy. Fly genetics are a huge part of the field,
the tiny little Drosophila melanogaster providing aspiring geneticists with over a century of good
times. And flies are also a royal pain in the butt to work with. Especially if you’re new at it.
So let’s use the benefits of the modern age and perform our fly lab squarely within the
boundaries of cyberspace. Ready? Good. Let’s go.
1. Sign in and log on to your computer. Open the internet browser and go to the
following website: http://www.sciencecourseware.org/vcise/drosophila/
2. Click the “”Enter as a Guest” option.
3. And here we are in our virtual lab. One very important thing: DO NOT BACK
OUT OF THIS PAGE UNTIL YOU ARE COMPLETELY DONE!!! Or you will
4. The first order of business: you will need to order your fruit flies. Click on the
computer and use the “Order Flies” icon. We are going to perform three different
crosses. For each one, you will need to order the correct flies:
a. Cross 1: Cross a sepia eyed male with a wild type (red eyed) female.
b. Cross 2: Cross a sepia eyed, normal wing male with a wild type eyes, vestigial
c. Cross 3: Cross a wild type male with a white eyed female.
5. After ordering your flies, you will have to work through the lab until you eventually
have sorted your F1 progeny. Make sure you record all of the necessary data in your
6. After you have recorded the data, you will need to establish a cross between
members of your F1 generation. To do this, click on the piles of sorted flies to
zoom in. Then click the “Use in New Mating” button. Do this for both a male and
a female. Then return to your lab. Click on the mating jar.
7. Sort your progeny and record the necessary data in the F2 data table.
8. After you collect F2 data, clean out your incubator by clicking on the small trash can
next to it. This resets your lab for the next cross.
9. Now that you have the F2 data, you can begin to formulate some conclusions about
the mode of inheritance for the traits you are looking at. Briefly comment on what
you believe the mode of inheritance to be. Address the following points in your
a. What is the approximate phenotypic ratio shown in the F2 generation?
b. Does the gender of the flies seem to affect the inheritance of the traits in the
c. Propose a hypothetical mode of inheritance for your given traits.
10. Congratulations. The only thing left to do is your other two crosses. To order new
flies, simply click on the computer and repeat
11. When you have completed all of the crosses, you may move on to the analysis
12. I’m proud of you. Really I am.