Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biology Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for biology researchers, academics, and students. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Can female Drosophila melanogaster lay egg without males? I maintain our lab stock but find a line that seems to have all females (or all males). In the vial, I see some eggs laid, but the flies should have been flipped 2 weeks, ago but I don't see any eggs hatching or become larva.

share|improve this question
    
wow - so just like chickens... i wonder how this is an evolutionary avantage for the females? –  shigeta Dec 1 '12 at 17:32
add comment

2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, I regularly have to collect female virgins (12500 of them in the last week). They will lay eggs especially when there is extra yeast available. It is actually a good way to check virginity - put some extra yeast grains in the vial when you collect them, leave them for a few days and then check for larvae, if they are not virgins there will be eggs and larvae, if they are virgins there will only be eggs!

share|improve this answer
add comment

Very old females (such as those in vials that have not been flipped for a long time) will often lay unfertilized eggs in the absence of males. This happens to me occasionally when I am collecting virgins and then forget about them for a while.

share|improve this answer
    
I find even young females do this, but do you add extra yeast to the vial? perhaps this stimulates mine to produce more eggs (see Ashburner, Sullivan and Hawley) more rapidly. –  GriffinEvo Nov 28 '12 at 10:25
1  
Usually this happens to me when I'm collecting virgins, so there's often no yeast; this probably explains our discrepancy. –  James Porter Nov 29 '12 at 0:55
    
cool, there is definitely research suggesting yeast increases egg production. and as useful way to check virginity whilst getting them really fired up ready to mate! –  GriffinEvo Nov 29 '12 at 13:32
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.