Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What I'm literature searching for now..

how does one tell if a fruit fly egg has died, other than waiting to see if it hatches, which doesn't tell me at what developmental stage it died, which is what I want to know.

So far I can't find any evidence that anyone has a method for this.


jte said...

How's about: anything that is alive is metabolizing, therefore creating chemical and energy waste products. Are there measurable gas emissions from an fruit fly egg? Heat? I can see that while this might work in principle (does it?), rigging the lab equipment to actually make these measurements could be difficult.

jte said...

PS: but if it dies at developmental stage X, can you dissect the unhatched egg and just see what the corpse looks like? Or does it decay in the egg? Or is dissecting a fruit fly egg just too difficult?

Dan Levitis said...

I think measuring the metabolic byproducts of a fruit fly egg is probably prohibitively difficult, given how small they are.

The problem with dissection is that you fist have to wait until you are sure it is not going to hatch, and that could be more than enough time for the internal structures to decay, even if the egg as a whole still seems intact.

I've found references to a paper in a defunct Russian language journal that may describe a method for doing this. Now it is just a matter of getting a copy of the paper, and making someone translate it for me.

jte said...

If you could find yourself a cheap, used MRI in good condition, maybe you could image them at hourly intervals. :)

How long does a normal fruit fly egg "gestate"? (And what's the correct term for that?)

Dan Levitis said...

An MRI could work, but getting them to fill out the release forms could be difficult.