What does Drosophila melanogaster mean?

Drosophila melanogaster means ‘dark-bellied dew lover.’  It is one of the most studied organisms in biological research, particularly in genetics and developmental biology. 

There are several reasons:                   

  • It is small and easy to grow in the laboratory.
  • Their morphology is easy to identify.
  • It has a short generation time of about 10 days at room temperature so several generations can be studied within a few weeks.
  • Females lay up to 100 eggs per day, and perhaps 2000 in a lifetime. 
  • It has only four pairs of chromosomes: three autosomes, and one sex chromosome.
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