|The Characteristics of Drosophila as a Lab Organism|
The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has long been used in the genetics laboratory because it is easily kept, has several characteristics with obvious variations, and has a short life span. A short life span is essential to the usefulness of a laboratory organism in genetic studies. These features are also what allowed Mendel to complete such a volume of study on pea plants. Drosophila has only 4 pairs of chromosomes, which are very large and are easy to see under the microscope with the right preparation and staining techniques.