Drosophila can look back at an enormous research tradition. It entered the labs about 100 years ago. Although maybe not the very first to ever grow flies, Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945) was definitely the founder of fly genetics. The first fly mutants were discovered in the Morgan lab at the Columbia University in 1910, among them the famous eye color mutant white.

In a pedigree culture of Drosophila which had been running for nearly one year through a considerable number of generations, a male apperared with white eyes. The normal flies have brilliant red eyes.

                                 Thomas H. Morgan, 1910

The short generation time of Drosophila and its and ease of culturing proved to be very advantageous in genetic experiments. In addition, a self-enhancing process took place: the more one knows about an organism, the easier it is to work with, the more researchers are attracted to it, the more techniques and know how are developed. Today, the Drosophila field has a large research community, its own conferences and databases like FlyBase, Bloomington, FlyView. Drosophila is one of the few organisms whose genomic sequence is completely resolved (see BDGP).