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Drosophila viewer: a program on the formal genetics, anatomy and developmental biology of Drosophila melanogaster for students and specialists


Drosophila viewer: a program on the formal genetics, anatomy and developmental biology of Drosophila melanogaster for students and specialists

P.A. Otto

Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Caixa Postal 11461, 05422-970 São Paulo, SP, Brasil. Fax: +55-11-3818-7553. E-mail:


The present Windows-based program was compiled in Visual Basic (Microsoft, Inc.) and presents data and pictures on the formal genetics, anatomy, and developmental biology of Drosophila melanogaster. With more than 150 plain and formatted texts, adapted from "Genetic Variations of Drosophila melanogaster" by D.L. Lindsley and E.H. Grell (1972), the program provides details of phenotypes of common genic mutants of the fly, as well as most India ink illustrations made by Mrs. Edith M. Wallace, Professor Thomas Hunt Morgan's illustrator. Illustrations of the external morphology of Drosophila were adapted from Ferris' chapter in the book "Biology of Drosophila" edited by M. Demerec (1950). The program provides color photomicrographs of specimens that have been cleared, whole-mounted, photographed and digitalized, and standardized color illustrations of the mutant phenotypes and of anatomical details. The program will be updated with new material (illustrations, photos, and text) as they become available. Future updates can be carried out by the addition of accessory files.

The program was designed to run in any IBM-PC-compatible computer with a 386-MHz (or higher) processor and Windows 3.1 or later versions, a 16-color VGA monitor (at least 256 colors are necessary, however, to visualize the photographs), and 12 MB of hard disk space to accommodate the accessory files. Since the program was created for a screen resolution of 640 x 480, users of recent versions of Windows (95 or higher) should disable the inferior taskbar of the computer graphic interface before running the program. The present version of the program in the compressed self installation form (with an approximate size of 3 MB, including all the accessory files and the library file VBRUN300.dll, necessary to run programs compiled in Visual Basic V.3.0) can be obtained free of charge directly from the author via his internet site ( or requested by E-mail ( Although freely distributed, the content of the program is the intellectual property of the author; as such, any use made of the material included in it should contain an explicit reference to its origin [Otto PA, Drosophila Viewer Program (V. 6.0), Department of Biology, University of São Paulo, 2000]. Feedbacks from the Drosophila community and from other geneticists are invited and will be used to correct any flaws and to improve the program.


The illustrations shown in the figures are screen images obtained from the program and describe its functioning (Figures 1-12).


The following persons and institutions are acknowledged for their direct or indirect help in developing the program: Paulo A.S. Nuin for many helpful suggestions related to the program code; Mrs. Elizabeth Powers, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, for permitting the use and adaptation of figures from Demerec M. (Ed.), The Biology of Drosophila. Wiley & Sons, New York, 1950 (reprinted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Plainview, 1994); Dr. Daniel L. Lindsley for permitting the reproduction of the public domain pictures and text from Lindsley D.M. and Grell E.H., Genetic Variations of Drosophila melanogaster, Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication No. 627, Washington, 1972; Drs. Carlos R. Vilela and Louis B. Klaczko (as well as other Drosophilist colleagues) for providing specimens of D. melanogaster and for their comments and suggestions; Dr. Andre L.P. Perondini, for his patience in teaching me several basic Drosophila handling techniques and for the use of his laboratory facilities. Publication supported by FAPESP.


(Received July 13, 2000)

  • Demerec, M. (Ed.). (1950). The Biology of Drosophila Wiley & Sons, New York (reprinted by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Plainview, 1994), pp. 632.
  • Lindsley, D.M. and Grell, E.H. (1972). Genetic Variations of Drosophila melanogaster Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication No. 627, Washington, pp. 472.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    13 Nov 2001
  • Date of issue
    Dec 2000


  • Received
    13 July 2000
Sociedade Brasileira de Genética Rua Cap. Adelmio Norberto da Silva, 736, 14025-670 Ribeirão Preto SP Brazil, Tel.: (55 16) 3911-4130 / Fax.: (55 16) 3621-3552 - Ribeirão Preto - SP - Brazil