The Blebs!

Lucy, Gabriel, Georgia, Isabel, Xaliya

Day one of insecticide experiment with Drosophila Melanogaster A.K.A the common fruit fly

The Blebs from Lorne p-12 college were experimenting the effect of the insecticide chlorantraniliprole on Da1KO (Drosophila Melanogaster, alpha one, knock-out) mutants. An insecticide is a pesticide used to kill insects. How does it work? Specifically for the insecticide chlorantraniliprole, the chemicals in the insecticide enter the bloodstream through consumption, attack the muscle enzymes, and render the fly to become paralyzed and die. First, we assessed what flies we were testing and what we were testing with. We had the wild type larvae in one tube and we had the Da1KO larvae in another. With the micropipette, we each put 50 microlitres of the 5% of the sucrose into the mini petri-dishes. Following that, we added 200 microlitres of 20% sucrose into tubes with the larvae, so the larvae can float and get out of the tube. Groups A and B were the control groups for our experiment, which means they were not touched by the insecticide. Groups C and D were the larvae that were exposed to the chlorantraniliprole. In groups A and C, those had the wild type flies with no mutation. Groups B and D had the Da1KO mutants. Over the course of the day, we observed what is called the “wiggle index”. The wiggle index is observing how much the larvae are moving, if they are not moving, they are most likely dead and were killed by the insecticide. Other groups had different insecticides and different mutants, so we could observe what insecticide was more effective. According to our findings, chlorantraniliprole is the more effective insecticide.


Day two

In day two, The blebs collided with “The gene team”, another team from Lorne P-12 College, and we talked about how genes work. We traveled around the Doherty Laboratory and looked at different kinds of mutants of Drosophila Melanogaster through light microscopes. We compared each others findings of the different phenotypes, physical features, that the mutants had compared to the wild type Drosophila Melanogaster. We explored how to predict phenotypes and genotypes of a species, for example, if the purebred generation of 136 Drosophila Melanogaster with wild type, red eyes, crossed with a male with white eyes, and all had red eyes, what would happen in the next generation? Well, because red eyes are the dominant gene, white eyes would show through a bit more in the next generation because there will most likely be a mutation in one of the genes and one fly will have white eyes, continue breeding; hence why we have white eyed fruit flies. After exploring how genetics work in a simple manner using a punnet square, we moved next door and used an electron microscope. Our mentor in the room showed us how to prepare a sample for the electron microscope, and he also taught us how to use the machine. For our sample, we continued to look at the common fruit fly.

Day three

‘Twas the second to last day, and we had no idea what we were expecting to do. We thought we’d just analyze more of the fruit fly and be a bit bored, but plot twist, we were actually handling chemicals and finding DNA in different kinds of flies. We were going to extract DNA from a fly, how cool is that? But I know what you’re thinking, how in the heck do you extract DNA from a fruit fly? Well, I’ll try and tell you. We began to prep our samples and put them in the incubator for ten minutes so we could deteriorate the flesh and tissue from the fly. After that, we continued to put in more liquids such as primers and buffers. Primers are used to start the copy strand of the DNA. The enzyme helps connect the nucleotides with the primers. Buffers help the enzymes work perfectly; whereas in different conditions, the enzyme would not bond and therefore the experiment would fail. We used the centrifuge to to bind the DNA to the column, the we used it to wash and dry the column; after that, we recovered purified genomic DNA. Furthermore, we used the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) machine to allow the enzyme to bond the nucleotides and the primer to the gDNA and produce copies of the gDNA.