The purpose of this project is primarily to examine the effects of development speed on symmetry in Drosophila melanogaster when employing methylparaben, an anti-microbial preservative, as an additive to the organisms' growth medium. This paraben was selected due to its studied effects on prolonging the length of juvenile development. The research question being examined in this project is whether manipulating developmental speed by lengthening the average developmental cycle would lead to more overall symmetry as opposed to a shorter developmental cycle speed. Baseline assays of juvenile developmental speed of Drosophila melanogaster, both groups with and without methylparaben growth medium, will be established via the addition of cameras to the incubator in which they will be stored while developing, allowing for key developmental timelines to be tracked and logged. Both the control group without methylparaben growth medium and the experimental group with methylparaben-infused growth medium will be raised under identical growth conditions (i.e., temperature, humidity, diet, etc.), minus the experimental factor. The physical effects and results of both groups' body symmetry will be examined and analyzed via the use of scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Hiatt, Kyle, "Scanning electron microscopic analysis of developmental speed's effect on symmetry in Drosophila melanogaster" (2021). Fall Showcase for Research and Creative Inquiry. 180.