Effect of UVB Light Exposure on Drosophila melanogaster Fruitless Gene and Reproductive Capability
<p id="x-x-x-docs-internal-guid-4fcb2e9a-7fff-5374-a103-01d34244b481">UVB light is a known cause of DNA damage in many different organisms. In this experiment, we tested the effects of UVB exposure on Drosophila melanogaster larvae, and its effects on adult male reproductive capabilities and fruitless gene expression. Fruitless is a gene expressed in the dorsal-posterior protocerebral region of the brain in male Drosophila melanogaster that allows them to court females and arch their abdomen to be able to properly copulate. When this gene is defective, males often will attempt to court other males or not be able to successfully copulate at all with a female. To test our hypothesis we ran both a behavioral assay to count the number of larvae produced by our experimental group (larvae exposed to UVB light for ten minutes, every 12 hours, for three days), and the number of larvae produced by our control group. A RT-qPCR was then run to analyze expression of the fruitless gene in both the experimental and control Drosophila melanogaster. We predicted that the experimental group would produce less larvae, and would have a decrease in fruitless gene expression than the control group.