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Different species of fruit flies exhibit remarkably different patterns of wing decoration. At the top is the familiar Drosophila melanogaster, the workhorse model organism of genetics, which differs markedly from other fruit fly species. Exploring a single gene that controls pigment deployment in fruit flies, a group led by UW-Madison biologist Sean Carroll has found the molecular switches that control where the pigmentation is deployed on the wing. The finding explains how common genes can be controlled to produce the seemingly endless array of patterns, decoration and body architecture found in animals.
Photo date: 2004
Image credit: courtesy of Nicolas Gompel and Benjamin Prud'homme

Like butterflies, different species of fruit flies decorate their wings with a great diversity of spots and patterns. Digging deep into a single gene that produce pigmentation in the flies, a group led by UW-Madison biologist Sean Carroll has found the molecular switches that control where the pigmentation is deployed. The finding explains how common genes can be controlled to produce the seemingly endless array of patterns, decoration and body architecture found in animals.
Photo date: 2004
Image credit: courtesy of Nicolas Gompel and Benjamin Prud'homme

Nicolas Gompel, postdoctoral fellow in molecular biology, uses a sweeping net to catch fruit flies in the University Housing community garden. Gompel researches the genes that drive differences in pigmentation in fruit flies (genus Drosophila), using flies caught in his apartment and around the University Housing community garden compost heap.
Photo date: June 2003
Image credit: Michael Forster Rothbart

Sean Carroll, professor of genetics.
Photo date: June 2005
Image credit: Michael Forster Rothbart
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