1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
One of the many reasons that make Drosophila an extremely valuable organism is that the molecular, cellular, and genetic foundations of development are highly conserved between flies and higher eukaryotes such as humans. Drosophila progress through several developmental stages in a process known as the life cycle and each stage provides a unique platform for developmental research. This video introduces each stage of the Drosophila life cycle and details the physical characteristics and major developmental events that occur during each stage. Next, the video discusses the genetic regulation of pattern formation, which is important for establishing the body plan of the organism and specifying individual tissues and organs. In addition, this video gives an overview of Drosophila reproduction, and how to use the reproductive characteristics of Drosophila to set up a genetic cross. Finally, we discuss examples of how the principles of Drosophila development and reproduction can be applied to research. These applications include RNA interference, behavioral assays of mating behaviors, and live imaging techniques that allow us to visualize development as a dynamic process. Overall, this video highlights the importance of understanding development and reproduction in Drosophila, and how this knowledge can be use…
Caenorhabditis elegans is a microscopic, soil-dwelling roundworm that has been powerfully used as a model organism since the early 1970’s. It was initially proposed as a model for developmental biology because of its invariant body plan, ease of genetic manipulation and low cost of maintenance. Since then C. elegans has rapidly grown in popularity and is now utilized in numerous research endeavors, from studying the forces at work during locomotion to studies of neural circuitry.
This video provides an overview of basic C. elegans biology, a timeline of the many milestones in its short but storied history, and finally a few exciting applications using C. elegans as a model organism.…