DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER - THE MODEL ORGANISM OF CHOICE FOR THE COMPLEX BIOLOGY OF MULTI-CELLULAR ORGANISMS
Drosophila melanogaster has been intensely studied for almost 100 years. The sophisticated array of genetic and molecular tools that have evolved for analysis of gene function in this organism are unique. Further, Drosophila is a complex multicellular organism in which many aspects of development and behavior parallel those in human beings. These combined advantages have permitted research in Drosophila to make seminal contributions to the understanding of fundamental biological processes and ensure that Drosophila will continue to provide unique insights in the genomic era. An overview of the genetic methodologies available in Drosophila is given here, together with examples of outstanding recent contributions of Drosophila to our understanding of cell and organismal biology. The growing contribution of Drosophila to our knowledge of gravity-related responses is addressed.