Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel

Drosophila Genetic Reference Panel (DGRP) is a suite of D. melanogaster lines derived from an out-crossed population in Raleigh, North Carolina. The founders of these lineages were collected from a Farmer's Market. The suite consists of 192 fully sequenced lines which have been inbred to homozygousity at all alleles. The goal of the DGRP is to provide a common standard for research on Drosophila. Each researcher who uses the lines from the DGRP will have access to other researchers' data, which will be stored in a publicly available database. This allows for analyses to be performed across studies without having to worry about complications arising from different labs using genomically different lines of fruit flies.[1]



These lines are useful for performing QTL maps, as every line is fully sequenced. This allows for association mapping to be performed, which looks for genomic regions that are correlated to a phenotype. As labs produce QTL maps a comprehensive picture of the Drosophila genome will emerge with unprecedented resolution. Currently, dozens of quantitative traits are being examined by researchers, including longevity, phototaxis, mating behavior, wing morphology and oviposition site preference.

Current Uses

The pilot proof of concept and development of the DGRP came from the Trudy Mackay lab in Raleigh, North Carolina. The sequencing was done by Baylor College of Medicine Sequencing Center, in collaboration with Richard Gibbs and Stephen Richards.

The preliminary sequence data can be obtained from a public database hosted by the BCM.[2]

Specific studies

Preliminary data has been presented at Genetics Society of America in Boston, Massachusetts. The study investigates the sleep behavior of Drosophila to uncover the genes that are responsible. The data suggest that at least 998 genes are responsible for some of the measurable variation found, including candidate genes CrebB-17A, rutabaga, Shaker and the gene encoding the epidermal growth factor receptor have all been implicated in other studies as being involved in sleep behavior.[3]

Researchers have also uncovered a genotype by diet interaction that drives phenotypic variation. Recently published data indicates that the interaction between a fly's [genome]and its environment plays a substantial role in determining the phenotype. This suggests that some individuals are obese in a high fat diet, but are able to retain a slimmer phenotype on a high sugar diet. [4]


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