This award continues support for the University of California Species Stock Center, a collection of living stocks of Drosophila species. The living collection consists of over 1000 strains representing approximately 250 species of the small insect commonly referred to as the fruit fly. Project goals are to provide live flies to researchers and educators at a charge that helps defray operating costs. The whole genomes of 14 Drosophila species have been sequenced which has driven the use of these species by the biological community including researchers in behavior, neurobiology, development, genomics, ecology, physiology, immunology, and systems biology. Growth in the collection includes addition of newly collected wild type strains and addition of transgenic strains for those species whose genomes have been sequenced.
These species provide unprecedented opportunities to study basic biological processes common to many species, including humans. In addition to enabling research, the Stock Center provides samples for educational uses in high schools, colleges and museums. The Stock Center also conducts an annual workshop for students and researchers wishing to learn more about the varied species in the collection and to acquire the special knowledge needed to work with them.
(DSSC) at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) provides the research and education communities with 1) a repository to maintain and secure standardized genetic resources for current and future generations of investigators and educators, 2) tools to perform manipulative empirical studies, not possible with preserved material, to inform practical applications, and 3) access to relatively inexpensive materials for engaging students in the Nationâ€™s classrooms. The DSSC currently maintains a diverse collection of over 1500 living specimens from 225 Drosophila species. Community interest in the collection is broad and includes both an education and research component. Virtually all fields of biological inquiry, such as genetics, genomics, cellular and developmental biology, physiology, neurobiology and behavior, ecology, systematics, and evolution, benefit from the resources offered by the DSSC. The research products generated using DSSC stocks can be classified as essential science, an important focus of the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences, as well as translational science that has a direct and positive impact on the well-being of all people. Furthermore, stock center personnel work with existing infrastructure at UCSD to facilitate the teaching of concepts related to invasive species, biodiversity, evolution, and ecology in K-12 classrooms. More information can be obtained on the DSSC website (https://stockcenter.ucsd.edu/info/welcome.php).