This award to Cornell University will provide RAPID funding to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 on the Drosophila Species Stock Center (DSSC). The DSSC maintains a collection of ca. 1400 living stocks representing nearly 300 species of Drosophila, a genus of about 1500 described species. The DSSC is an internationally recognized collection and serves as a resource to address questions on questions in evolution, ecology, developmental biology, physiology, neurobiology, comparative genomics, and immunology. The DSSC also provides technical expertise to a broader community in the areas of husbandry, natural history, systematics, evolution, and ecology of Drosophila.
The DSSC provides living stocks for a large number of Drosophila species as reagents for research programs around the globe. The DSSC also maintains over 60 Drosophila species that have had their whole genomes sequenced, increasing the value of these stocks for research. The number of strains maintained at the DSSC reflects factors such as close phylogenetic relationship to species with sequenced genomes, the presence of genetically marked or transgenic stocks, and the availability of stocks from a geographic diversity of sources. In addition to the maintenance and sale of living stocks, the center provides an annual Drosophila Species Identification Workshop in which participants learn the basics of Drosophila identification, biology, and culture requirements. Through this award, the DSSC can mitigate a temporary decline in research demand and continue to serve as an important research resource.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.