General Information

  • Fly Lab D22 19°C (0114 22) 22811
  • Media Room D34a (0114 22) 32802
  • Culture Rooms: D22b 18°C, 70%RH; D22c 25°C, 70%RH

Fly Facility Technicians:

Other useful contacts:

The risk assessments and CoSHH forms for the fly lab and media room are in labelled blue files in the relevant rooms.

Out of Hours Emergency Contacts

Please phone the University Control Room on (0114 22) 24085 to report a problem out of hours.

Fly Lab Rules

No food or drink is to be consumed in the laboratory.

Only listen to music via headphones so others cannot hear it ensuring you can still hear any alarms that may sound.

Please swab down your bench with 70% IMS before you start work and at the end of each day.

When you have finished using your microscope make sure the light source is switched off.

Please ensure you turn off your CO2 if you are not using it.

If you find any mites please tell Kath so the problem can be dealt with immediately.

Media and Equipment


Ingredient Amount Manufacturer Supplier
Cold tap water 1 Litre    
Medium Cornmeal 80g Triple Lion Beanies/Lembas
Dried Yeast 18g Kerry Ingredients BTP Drewitt
Soya Flour 10g Lembas Wholefoods Beanies/Lembas
Malt Extract 80g Rayner’s Essentials Beanies/Lembas
Molasses 40g Rayner’s Essentials Beanies/Lembas
Agar 8g   BTP Drewitt
10% Nipagin in Absolute Ethanol 25ml Clariant UK Ltd;
Chemolink Specialities Ltd;
Propionic Acid 4ml Fisher Fisher

 Fly media:

Fly media is stored in the cold room D33.  If you need to use small quantities of food some will be available in D22 (on the long bench next to the door).  If this runs out or you need larger quantities please take the fly food you need out of the cold room several hours before use, preferably overnight.  Please use the earliest dated food first.  If you require large amounts of media for any experiment please ask Kath at least two weeks before you wish to use it. 

Fly media is available as follows:

Experimental vials (Exp) - small volume of medium in short vials, metal trays, labelled Exp.

Stock vials (ST) - larger volume of medium in taller vials, cardboard trays, labelled ST.

ICRF bottles with cotton wool bungs – use these for all stocks kept in bottles in the 18°C culture room.

Straight sided bottles with foam bungs - Please do not use straight sided bottles for any cultures in the 18°C culture room. This is to prevent mites getting into the stock collections.  Straight sided bottles can be used in the main fly room at 19°C and the 25°C culture room for experiments. They should not be used for maintaining expanded stocks, as this is the principle cause of mite outbreaks. Mites easily infect these bottles, so you should never passage the old generation of flies from one of these bottles into a new bottle.

Yeast is available from the fridge in D22.  If this runs out please bring some into the fly lab from the cold room.

Other media:

Apple Juice plates are available in 60mm sizes.  These are stored in the cold room and can be put into the fridge in D22 as needed.  If you would like 90mm apple juice plates making up please ask one of the fly lab technicians the week before you need to use them.


Please put all used trays next to the food on the long bench for checking and washing by fly technicians.  Put all ties in the labelled beaker so they can be reused. 

Please wash up any egg laying pots, embryo dishes and yeast containers you use.

Spare equipment such as paintbrushes and light bulbs for microscopes are available from one of the fly lab technicians.  Please ask if you can’t find an item you require.

Fly Stocks

Clearly label your vials, bottles, trays and baskets with your name and the date.

Do not keep any cultures for any longer than 3 weeks in the 25°C culture room and 6 weeks in the 18°C culture room. If any are found that are older than this they will be removed into the main fly room and you will be reminded to deal with them. If you don’t they will be disposed of as will any old unlabelled cultures.

Fly stock collections

Remember much of the stock collection is irreplaceable. It is very important to avoid contaminating or otherwise harming stocks.

Please always get permission from the relevant Principal Investigator before taking stocks – this may also ensure you get the stock you really need!

Do not deplete the flies from a stock, to the extent that it threatens the health of the stock. In general it is OK to take flies from the back vial, provided the other vials are healthy (you should check this!). Only take flies from other vials with great care.

Do not remove stocks from the collection, except briefly when collecting flies and always return promptly. Be very sure to return stock to the correct position in the tray.


Any flies that are obtained from sources outside the laboratory must be quarantined before bringing them into the fly lab to make sure they are not carrying anything that can spread to other stocks. Allow them to go through 2 generations and check for mites before bringing them into the fly lab or culture rooms.

Please be vigilant and tell Kath if you see old cultures that need to be dealt with or if you discover any mites so we can stop them spreading.

If you know your cultures contain mites and you don’t need them freeze the vials overnight to kill the mites and stop them spreading. Place the frozen cultures into a yellow waste bin.

If your culture contains mites and you wish to keep the flies remove cultures from the fly lab. Passage them three times on consecutive days onto fresh medium. Then allow the flies to go through two generations. Putting the tubes on a surface of glycerol makes the transfer of mites from one tube to another more difficult.


Please refer to the poster by the door in D22 for information regarding the correct segregation and disposal of biological waste.

Use the yellow bins to dispose of fly cultures. These will contain an orange bag on the outside and two black bags on the inside. When the bin you are using is full please take out the bags and twist the top around. Secure very tightly with a long electrical cable tie ensuring no flies can escape. Fill out an orange label (GM/Infectious Waste) with the following information: Department-BMS; Laboratory–D22 and Date Sealed. Place the label on the bag and put it to out of the way to the right of the oven.

Put an orange bag and then two black bags into the yellow bin. The waste bags are collected from the fly lab on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays.

The sharps bin is located on the long bench.

Use the bins with clear bags for non-hazardous waste like paper towels and the blue recycling bin for paper and card.

Rinse used Fisher Winchesters and replace the lid. Deface the label with a cross and place the Winchester by the waste bags in D22 for collection.

Carbon Dioxide

If the carbon dioxide alarm is sounding:

Do not enter the fly lab. Wedge door open to ventilate lab.

Inform either:

  • BMS Technical Manager/Departmental Safety Officer (0114 22) 24670
  • The Electronics Workshop (0114 22) 24685/22324
  • Out of hours The University Control Room (0114 22) 24085

If you are in the fly lab when the carbon dioxide alarm is sounding:

  • Ensure your CO2 tap is turned off.
  • Exit the lab and ensure there is nobody in the lab.
  • Wedge the door open to disperse the CO2.

Then inform staff as above.

Note: If the alarm is flashing but not sounding the CO2 alarm will have exceeded the 8 hour safe long term exposure limit (0.5%).  Do not work in the lab for extended periods under these conditions.

Please remember to turn off your CO2 supply when you have finished using it.

If you suspect there is a CO2 leak inform Kath Whitley, BMS Technical Manager or Electronics workshop. Out of hours contact University Control Room.

CO2 supplies can be turned off to each bench in the fly lab by closing the black valves underneath the benches.

Rooms which have regulators and taps which need to be checked if there is a leak or you suspect someone might have left a tap on are:

  • Tissue Culture (D32/D32a).
  • Prof. D. Strutt’s laboratory (D36).
  • Prof. D. Strutt’s microscope room (D37).
  • Fly lab (D22).
  • Dr. S. Johnston’s laboratory (D31).
  • Microscope Room (D25).
  • Light Microscope Facility (B51). (Has been capped to D18 and F21).

If repairs are needed ask Kath Whitley or Melanie Hannah to contact the EFM helpdesk.

Culture room alarms (D22b and D22c)

The alarm will go off if the temperature or humidity goes above or below limits or there is a power failure. If there is a temperature fault please open the culture room door until the fault is rectified. Ask Kath Whitley or Melanie Hannah to contact the EFM helpdesk or out of hours contact University Control Room on (0114 22) 24085.

D22 Air Conditioning

The fly lab temperature should read 19°C on the thermometers above Kath Whitley and David Strutt’s desks.

If the temperature on the thermometers reads below 17°C or above 20°C inform Kath Whitley or David Strutt immediately.

Out of hours contact the University Control Room on (0114 22) 2085