Research objectives and content
Centre in Umea, Sweden, in order to function as an irreplaceable service to the European research community, by making available 5,000 well documented Drosophila mutant stocks. To complement this collection of visible mutants and chromosome abberrations, a collection of P-element induced lethal mutant stocks, that are kept at the Attila Jozsef University, in Szeged, Hungary, should be included in the project. The genetic information of these mutant strains will be made available in the database "FlyBase". A major problem facing labs, that have performed large mutagenesis screens in Drosophila melanogaster to obtain certain mutants, is the maintenance of strains that might be useful in the future or of use to other Drosophila researchers. As the maintenance of strains and the creation of new combinations of various mutations will prove an impossible burden on single laboratories, stock centres have been established to shoulder the task. Much of the basic genetic knowlegde today results from fundamental experiments done in the past on Drosophila. Experiments on Drosophila have also shed much light on mammalian development. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a model organism in the HUGO project. It has a crucial role for understanding the function of the hundreds of thousands of open reading frame sequences that will be found in the human and other genomes. One of the major importance of the European Drosophila Stock Centres will be its application in the European Drosophila Genome Project. The use of these Stock Centres are invaluable for the Drosophila research. They save money for individual labs, that are being spared of the task of propagating strains that for the moment are uninteresting but might be invaluable for others or will be interesting in a longer perspective, and time, since they make it possible to instantly order stocks with specific mutant alleles or rearrangement to aid in the localization or analyses of new mutants, when starting a new project. The European Drosophila Stock Centre project is without any doubt best carried out on a Community level, since the benefits will be of equal importance for the whole European Drosophila research community. The expansion and establishment of the two European Drosophila Stock Centres will thus contribute to the European competitiveness, but it will also alleviate the burden of stock requests from European labs to the American Drosophila Stock Centres.