The compound eyes of insects allow for regions of acute vision within the eye. The acute visual regions are often impacted by the genetics of an organism, which leads to a wide variety of visual capabilities both within and across species. In many insect species the visual pathway is well characterized but how genetic changes alter the eye morphology, including these acute visual regions, is not well characterized. In order to investigate this, the radius of curvature method was used to measure visual acuity at various points in the eyes of both wild type Drosophila melanogaster and in the chico1 mutant, which is known for its smaller size. Contrary to expectation based on overall eye size, wildtype Drosophila were found to have significantly coarser vision than chico1 mutants in the posterior region of the eye. However, there were no significant differences found in regional facet diameter, or eye size between the wildtype and chico1 mutant flies. These results confusingly suggest that Drosophila with smaller eyes may have finer vision in the posterior region of the eye. Based on studies in other species, it was expected that there would be significant differences in regional facet diameter and visual acuity throughout the eye, which were not found. This may be due to a recently reported sexual dimorphism in Drosophila eyes that suggests further investigation into the morphology of the eye is needed.
Schwab, Katie, "Investigating the Effects of the chico1 Genetic Mutation on Regional Eye Morphology of Drosophila melanogaster" (2020). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9161.
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
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