The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, provides a powerful tool to study molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying animal development, physiology and ageing, and has played a crucial role in the identification of many human disease pathways.

A fly on a flower

Stock keeping

All main stocks (>5000 individual lines) of Drosophila melanogaster are housed within a 18°C/70%RH controlled room with a remote wireless monitoring and alarm service. 

The individual lab stock collections are maintained by dedicated support staff. These fly stocks are kept in triplicate and flies tipped onto new growth media every two weeks. 

Staff also ensure all stocks are correctly labelled with both the stock number and genotype of each fly culture. Any flies that are obtained from sources outside the laboratory are quarantined before bringing them into the fly lab to make sure they are not carrying anything that could spread to other stocks. 

All Drosophila cultures are allowed to go through two generations and checked for mites before being brought into the main fly lab or culture rooms. 

More information about how to quarantine stocks and ensure they are mite-free before entering these areas can be found on the Information page.

Fly pushing

A large temperature controlled main laboratory maintained at 19°C houses 22 fly stations with dissection microscopes, each equipped with fly pads and piped CO2 for the temporary anaesthetisation of flies. This allows flies to be identified and sorted for experimental work.

Fly cultures for experimental work can be housed in a 25°C/70%RH culture room with a remote wireless monitoring and alarm service. Three additional incubators set at a variety of temperatures are also available for experimental work as needed.

An injection microscope and needle puller are situated within the facility and available for all biomedical science researchers.

Fly food

Ingredient Amount
Cold tap water 1 Litre
Medium Cornmeal 80g
Dried Yeast 18g
Soya Flour 10g
Malt Extract 80g
Molasses 40g
Agar 8g
10% Nipagin in Absolute Ethanol 25ml
Propionic Acid 4ml

The large-scale production of nutrient rich culture media is prepared in a steam-jacketed specialist media maker. This allows up to 40 litres per batch to be prepared twice weekly to the recipe above.

Technical support is provided for media preparation including training staff from other departments within the Faculty of Science.

Vials and bottles available

ICRF bottles with cotton wool bungs

Used for all stock expansion and for any bottles in the 18°C culture room.

Straight sided bottles with foam bungs

Used for the short term experiments and pupa/larvae collection.

Stock vials (ST)

Larger volume of medium for longer term use in taller vials, cardboard trays, labelled ST. 

Experimental vials (Exp)

Small volume of medium for experiments in short vials, metal trays, labelled Exp.

Contact us

The Bateson Centre
Firth Court
The University of Sheffield
Western Bank
Sheffield S10 2TN

+44 114 222 2710

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