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Trans-generational influence of tetracycline on Drosophila melanogaster


Müller,  Hagen
Department Evolutionary Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Müller, H. (2010). Trans-generational influence of tetracycline on Drosophila melanogaster. Bachelor Thesis, Fachhochschule, Bingen.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-D4BF-5
Tetracycline is widely used as an antibiotic for medial and research purposes. It is also used as a dietary additive to control conditional promoter expression from Tet-On and Tet-Off constructs. A previous study by Ballard and Melvin (2007) in Drosophila melanogaster determined that exposure to tetracycline concentrations, commonly used for research purposes, caused a disruption of mitochondrial metabolism that was detectable two generations post-exposure. In this study we describe the identification of two previously unknown phenotypes resulting from development of D. melanogaster on tetracycline containing food (100g/ml). (1) Development on tetracycline food of both parents results in an approximately 40% reduction in egg laying. (2) Development on tetracycline food results in a developmental delay of offspring on standard food (trans-generational developmental delay). This developmental delay is inherited both maternally and paternally. When both parents are exposed normal development is extended by 2 days (15%). Unexpectedly, both phenotypes were always most extreme in the first generation exposed to tetracycline and could be completely or partially rescued by exposure of preceding generations to tetracycline (not necessarily the immediately preceding generation). Possible explanations for the phenotypes and their rescue are discussed, as are their implications for transgenic sterile insect technique (SIT) approaches that maintain stocks permanently on tetracycline containing food.