History

On this page we collate articles explaining the history of Drosophila research, for all those who want to better understand the roots of all the wonderful work being done with flies in contemporary research. Such knowledge shapes the way we use flies for our work, but also provides powerful and entertaining anecdotes for any teaching or public engagement. Please, help to improve this site! If you have any suggestions or found further literature that should be listed here, please feel free to contact us.

 

About the history of Drosophila research

Bridges, C. B., Morgan, T. H. (1919). Contributions to the genetics of Drosophila melanogaster. Carnegie Institute of Washington Publication 278, 123-304

  • Allchin, D. (1997). Thomas Hunt Morgan & the white-eyed mutant. In “Doing Biology (chapter 5)” (J. B. Hagen, D. Allchin, F. Singer, Eds.). Benjamin Cummings — [LINK]
  • Allen, G.E. (1969) T.H. Morgan and the emergence of a new American biology. Q Rev Biol 44, 168-188
  • Allen, G. E. (1978). “Thomas Hunt Morgan: the man and his science ” Princeton Univ Press, Princeton — [LINK1] – [LINK2]
  • An overview of Drosophila history: Ashburner, M. (1993). Epilogue. In “The development of Drosophila melanogaster” (M. Bate, A. Martínez Arias, Eds.), Vol. 2, pp. 1493-1506. CSH Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor
  • The first ever image of Drosophila melanogaster: Meigen, J. W. (1830). “Systematische Beschreibung der bekannten europäischen zweiflügeligen Insekten (vol. 6).” Schulzische Buchhandlung, Hamm

    Ashburner, M., Bergman, C. M. (2005). Drosophila melanogaster: A case study of a model genomic sequence and its consequences. Genome Research 15, 1661-1667 — [LINK]

  • Ashburner, M. (2006). “Won for all: How the Drosophila genome was sequenced.” Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,U.S., New York
  • Bellen, H. J., Tong, C., Tsuda, H. (2010). 100 years of Drosophila research and its impact on vertebrate neuroscience: a history lesson for the future. Nat Rev Neurosci 11, 514-522 — [LINK1] — [LINK2]
  • Bellen, H.J., Yamamoto, S. (2015). Morgan’s Legacy: Fruit Flies and the Functional Annotation of Conserved Genes. Cell 163, 12-14 — [LINK]
  • Berg, P., Singer, M. (2003) George Beadle: An Uncommon Farmer. The Emergence of Genetics in the 20th Century. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor
  • Brookes, M. (2001/2002). “Fly: The Unsung Hero of Twentieth-Century Science.” Ecco/Phoenix — [LINK]
  • Cagan, R., Gottlieb, E. (2016). In memory of Marcos Vidal (1974-2016). Dis Models Mech — [LINK]
  • Caltech Archives. In the Fly Room (Edith Wallace, 1881-1964) — [LINK]
  • Carlson, E. A. (1981). “Genes, radiation, and society: the life and work of H. J. Muller.” Cornell University Press, Ithaca, N.Y
  • Carlson, E. A. (2013). How fruit flies came to launch the chromosome theory of heredity. Mutat Res 753, 1-6 — [LINK]
  • Cobb, M. (1995). The fly of the lords. Evolution 49, 581-3 — [LINK]
  • Crow, J. F. (1988). A diamond anniversary: the first chromosomal map. Genetics 118, 1-3 — [LINK]
  • Crow, J. F. (1993). N. I. Vavilov, martyr to genetic truth. Genetics 134, 1-4 — [LINK]
  • Crow, J. F., Lindsley, D., Lucchesi, J. (2006). Edward Novitski: Drosophila virtuoso. Genetics 174, 549-53 — [LINK]
  • David, J. R., Lemeunier, F., Tsacas, L., Yassin, A. (2007). The historical discovery of the nine species in the Drosophila melanogaster species subgroup. Genetics 177, 1969-1973 — [LINK]
  • Demerec, M. (1934) Memorandum on the salivary gland chromosomes. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Archives
  • Dunn, L.C. (1951) Genetics in the 20th century. Macmillan
  • Drosophila-specific blog posts by The Embryo Project — [LINK]
  • Gao P.K. (2015) On the twentieth anniversary of the Nobel Prize for research in fly embryonic development. The Node blog post — [LINK]
  • Gelling, C. (2015) Calvin Bridges: Bringing genes down to earth (GSA – Genes to Genomes blog) — [LINK]
  • Gelling, C. (2016) Dobzhansky: Bug collecting and the Modern Synthesis (GSA – Genes to Genomes blog) — [LINK]
  • Gelling, C. (2016) Happy 150th to a fruit fly wrangler who changed the world (about T.H. Morgan) — [LINK]
  • Gelling, C. (2017) Calvin Bridges: Bringing genes down to earth — [LINK]
  • Green, M. M. (2010) 2010: A century of Drosophila genetics through the prism of the white Genetics 184, 3-7 — [LINK]
  • Grens, K. (2018). Kathy Matthews, Drosophila geneticist, dies. Blog post in “The Scientist/The Nutshell” — [LINK]
  • Grens, K. (2018) Fruit fly geneticist Dan Lindsley dies — [LINK]
  • Hawley, R. S., Ganetzky, B. (2016). Alfred Sturtevant and George Beadle untangle inversions. Genetics 203, 1001-1003 — [LINK]
  • Herrera, L. Interview with Dr. Melvin Green — [LINK]
  • The original fly lab

    Horowitz, NH. (1998) T.H. Morgan at Caltech: A reminiscence. Genetics 149, 1629-32

  • Ingham, P. (2014) Waddington Medal lecture about the Hedgehog story — [LINK]
  • Ingham, P. (2004) Obituary: Ed Lewis. BSDB Newsletter #25/2, p.8 — [LINK]
  • Ingham, P. W. (2016). Chapter Twenty-Six – Drosophila segment polarity mutants and the rediscovery of the Hedgehog pathway genes. In “Current Topics in Developmental Biology” (P. M. Wassarman, Ed.), Vol. 116, pp. 477-488. Academic Press — [LINK]
  • Ingham, P. W. (2018). From Drosophila segmentation to human cancer therapy. Development 145/21 — [LINK]
  • A series of articles in J Biosci (2014, issue 39/4, pp.543-603) about Obaid Siddiqi – [LINK]
  • Kaufman, T. (2015). In Memoriam William Martin Gelbart (1945-2015). Genetics 201, 809-10 — [LINK]
  • Kaufman, T. (2018). A remembrance: Dr. Kathleen A. Matthews & the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center and FlyBase. Genes and Genomes, 9 April — [LINK]
  • Kaufman, T. C. (2017). A short history and description of Drosophila melanogaster classical genetics: chromosome aberrations, forward genetic screens, and the nature of mutations. Genetics 206, 665-689 — [LINK]
  • Keller, A. (2007). Drosophila melanogaster‘s history as a human commensal. Curr Biol 17, R77-81 — [LINK]
  • Keller, E. F. (1996). Drosophila embryos as transitional objects: the work of Donald Poulson and Christiane Nusslein-Volhard. Hist Stud Phys Biol Sci 26, 313-46 — [LINK]
  • Kelty, C. M. (2012). This is not an article: Model organism newsletters and the question of `open science’. BioSocieties 7, 140-68 — [LINK]
  • All issues of the legendary Drosophila Information Service — [LINK]
  • Kohler, R. E. (1994). “Lords of the fly. Drosophila genetics and the experimental life.” The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, London — [LINK]
  • Lewis, E. B. (1995). The video shown during the Nobel Prize lecture — [LINK]
  • Lewis, E. B. (1995). Remembering Sturtevant. Genetics 141, 1227-30 — [LINK]
  • Lewis, E. B. (1998). Alfred Henry Sturtevant: November 21, 1891-April 5, 1970. Biogr Mem Natl Acad Sci 73, 349-62 — [LINK]
  • Lewis, E.B. (2003) C.B. Bridges’ repeat hypothesis and the nature of the gene. Genetics 164, 427-31
  • A classic from Lindley’s red book

    Lindsley, D. (2008) Drosophila genetics – The first 25 years — [LINK]

  • Lipshitz, H. D. (2005). From fruit flies to fallout: Ed Lewis and his science. Dev Dyn 232, 529-46 — [LINK]
  • Lipshitz, H. D. (2007). “Genes, Development and Cancer: The Life and Work of Edward B. Lewis.” Springer Science & Business Media — [LINK]
  • Louis, C., Goldsmith, M. R. (2019). Fotis Kafatos (1940-2017). Blog post in “National Academy of Sciences – Biographical Memoirs” — [LINK]
  • MacIntyre, R., Gearhart, J., Effron, J., O’ Brien, S., Fogleman, J. (2015). In Memory of Bruce Wallace: 1920–2015 (Population Genetics). J Hered 106, 331-332 — [LINK]
  • Martinez Arias, A. (2008). Drosophila melanogaster and the development of biology in the 20th century. InDrosophila. Methods and Protocols” (C. Dahmann, Ed.), Vol. 420, pp. 1-25. Humana Press — [LINK1] — [LINK2]
  • Martinez-Arias, A. (2009). A perspective on the development of genetics in Spain during the XX century. Int J Dev Biol 53, 1179-91 — [LINK]
  • Mlodzik, M., Halder, G. (2014). Walter J. Gehring (1939–2014). Dev Biol 395, 1-3 — [LINK]
  • Mohr, S. E. (2018). “First in fly – Drosophila research and biological discovery.” Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, MA and London, UK — [LINK]
  • Morgan, T. H., Bridges, C. B., Sturtevant, A. H. (1925). The genetics of Drosophila. Bibliographia Genetica 2, 1-262
  • Morgan, T.H. (1940) Calvin Blackman Bridges. Biogr. Mem. Natl. Acad. Sci 12, 31-48 — [LINK]
  • Muller, H. J. (1939). Dr. Calvin B. Bridges (obituary notice). Nature 143, 191-2 — [LINK]
  • Murphey, R. K., Possidente, D., Pollack, G., Merritt, D. J. (1989). Modality-specific axonal projections in the CNS of the flies Phormia and Drosophila. Comp. Neurol. 290, 185-200 — [LINK]
  • Novitski, E. (2005) Sturtevant and Dobzhansky: two scientists at odds with a student’s recollections. Xlibris — [LINK]
  • Novitski, E. (2006). Genetics in the early twentieth century – a personal journey. Chromosome Res 14, 339-47 — [LINK1] [LINK2]
  • Nobel prizes for work on Drosophila
  • Rubin, G. M., Lewis, E. B. (2000). A brief history of Drosophila’s contributions to genome research. Science 287, 2216-8 — [LINK]
  • Rosbash, M. (2015). Ronald J. Konopka (1947–2015). Cell 161, 187-188 — [LINK]
  • Schaeffer, S. W. (2018). Muller “elements” in Drosophila: how the search for the genetic basis for speciation led to the birth of comparative genomics. Genetics 210, 3-13 — [LINK]
  • Schultz, J. (1967) Innovators and controversies (Book Review). Science 157, 296-301 — [LINK]
  • Sen, S., VijayRaghavan, K. (2019). Heinrich Reichert (1949-2019). Development 146, dev183517 — [LINK]
  • Stephan, W., Li, H. (2007) The recent demographic and adaptive history of Drosophila melanogaster. Heredity (Edinb) 98, 65-8 — [LINK]
  • Stephenson, R., Metcalfe, N. H. (2013). Drosophila melanogaster: a fly through its history and current use. J R Coll Physicians Edinb 43, 70-5 — [LINK]
  • Sturtevant, A. H. (1959). Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945). Biogr Mem Natl Acad Sci 33, 283-325 — [LINK1] – [LINK2]
  • Sturtevant, A. H. (1965). The “Fly Room”. Am Scientist 53, 303-7
  • Sturtevant, A. H. (2001). Reminiscences of T. H. Morgan. Genetics 159, 1-5 — [LINK]
  • Sturtevant, A. H. (2001). “A History of Genetics.” CSHL Press — [LINK1] — [LINK2]
  • Tanouye, M. A. (2008). Seymour Benzer 1921-2007. Nat Genet 40, 121 — [LINK]
  • Wangler, M. F., Yamamoto, S., Bellen, H. J. (2015). Fruit flies in biomedical research. Genetics — [LINK]
  • A book about Seymour Benzer: Weiner, J. (1999). “Time, Love, Memory : A Great Biologist and His Quest for the Origins of Behavior.” Vintage Books, Random House Inc., New York — [LINK]
  • Chapter 9 “The Hedgehog Three” in: Weston, K. M. (2013). “Blue Skies and Bench Space: Adventures in Cancer Research.” CSHL Press, Cold Spring Harbor — [LINK]
  • Watry, G. Long-lived: remembering Melvin Green, a UC Davis genetics pioneer — [LINK]
  • Wharton, K. (2015). William Martin Gelbart 1945-2015. Nat Genet 47, 1372-1372 — [LINK]
  • Cuticle preparations of Drosophila embryos showing some of the discovered phenotypes

    Wieschaus, E., Nüsslein-Volhard, C. (2016). The Heidelberg screen for pattern mutants of Drosophila: a personal account. Annu Rev Cell Dev Biol 32, 1-46 — [LINK]

  • Wilfert, L., Jiggins, F. M. (2014). Flies on the move: an inherited virus mirrors Drosophila melanogaster‘s elusive ecology and demography. Mol Ecol 23, 2093-104 — [LINK]
  • Winchester, E. G. (2001). Bridges, Calvin Blackman. In “eLS“. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd — [LINK]
  • Wolter, J. (2013) The Notch signalling pathway in embryogenesis. blog for The Embryo Project Encyclopedia — [LINK]
  • Young, M. W. (2020). David Hogness (1925–2019). Current Biology 30, R194-R196 — [LINK]
  • Biography article in YourDictionary: “A.H. Sturtevant Facts