[Drosophila] question: mortality problems in drosophila
(by nellygidas from yahoo.fr)
Fri Jan 11 10:54:27 EST 2008
I’d like to call for advice or suggestions from people of the Drosophila
community who have encountered mortality issues in Drosophila lines.
Six months ago, the Drosophila pseudoobscura populations raised in my
lab have suddenly shown high levels of mortality (80-90%), when the
flies are 5-6 day old, particularly males. The flies that are still
alive in the bottles look normal and have subsequent normal survival,
although they seem to be a bit less productive. The problem has
persisted despite trying several different procedures:
1) The room where the flies are handled was thoroughly cleaned (with
dilute bleach and 90% ethanol) several days in succession and much of
our equipment (plasticware, yeast etc.) was replaced.
2) An experiment was carried out to determine if the food was hosting
some microorganism that could be the cause of the infection. This
involved raising males and females separately on 3 different types of
food medium; normal (cornmeal molasses medium), sugar agar or a potato
based medium. Flies were transferred to fresh vials of the appropriate
medium every day for around 10-14 days. The vials were then observed to
see if anything grew on these substrates; it was assumed we could detect
any microorganism present in the food. There was no obvious presence of
a microorganism growing on any substrate and the survival of the flies
did not differ according to which substrate they were kept on.
3) Finally, an antibiotic treatment (0.025% tetracycline) was introduced
to the food. Flies cultured on this substrate were less productive and
pupated faster than those on normal food. The offspring of the treated
generation survived normally for one generation. Unfortunately, the
following generation again displayed the same symptoms of mass mortality
at 5 days old.
I have contacted companies that can identify microorganisms and suggest
treatments but they were not able to respond our queries.
I would be really grateful if anyone has any suggestions on other
procedures that I could undertake or who to contact who would be able to
suggest solutions to determine the problem.
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
University of Sheffield
email: n.gidaszewski from sheffield.ac.uk
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