Using Drosophila to uncover mechanisms of heart and skeletal muscle disease
We are interested in understanding the basic mechanisms of muscle development, and we use the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. We use the fruit fly because it contains the same basic genetic tool box to make muscles as do mammals. Thus, by understanding how muscles form in flies, we can gain insight into homologous processes in vertebrates. We use a combination of genetics, cell biology, biochemistry and simple behavioral assays in our laboratory.
Please view our video below of a dissected Drosophila heart. In our studies, we want to unravel the genetic mechanisms of heart development by maniupulating different key genes. When we remove a gene, we want to test whether this gene is important for heart development by analyzing the heart's ability to beat by measuring beat frequency and blood flow rate. The left video shows the inflow tracts of the Drosophila heart.
University address: Department of Biology MSC03 2020 1 University of New Mexico Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001