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Media Contact:
Cristy Gelling, PhD

GSA Journals Assistant Editor

C: 412.478.3537


For Immediate Release

Thursday, September 25, 2014

10:00 am U.S. Eastern Time (UTC-05:00)



Genetics Society of America journal GENETICS to publish FlyBook, an encyclopedia of Drosophila research


BETHESDA, MD –The fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is one of the most effective and widely-used tools of biological research. This humble insect has helped scientists understand the mechanics of life through more than a century of research in genetics, genomics, animal development, neuroscience, systems biology, and evolutionary biology. But even the best tool needs a good operators’ manual.


The Genetics Society of America (GSA) today announced a multi-year project to publish FlyBook, a comprehensive compendium of review articles presenting the current state of knowledge in Drosophila research. Beginning in 2015, the articles will be published as a special collection in the journal GENETICS, reflecting the Society’s commitment to supporting fundamental research in model systems.


At the helm of FlyBook are co-Editors-in-Chief Lynn Cooley (Yale University), R. Scott Hawley (Stowers Institute for Medical Research), and Teri Markow (University of California, San Diego), who will collaborate with a select group of subject leaders acting as Section Editors. In turn, the Section Editors will invite experts and innovators in their fields to write peer-reviewed chapters.


Each month, GENETICS will publish one or two FlyBook articles spanning the breadth of biology, genetics, genomics, and evolution of Drosophila, comprising an encyclopedia of approximately 50-60 articles and a Perspectives piece. Because of GENETICS' ongoing partnership with FlyBase, these articles, like other Drosophila articles in the journal, will feature links from genes and other objects directly to the related FlyBase page, which provides additional rich information.


FlyBook will serve as the go-to reference for people entering the field, those shifting from one area of fly research to another, and for those, such as grant reviewers and graduate class teachers, who need to find information about another discipline, ” says Cooley.


Overall sections and section editors include:

Cell Signaling Marek Mlodzik, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Jessica Treisman, New York University School of Medicine
Development & Growth Trudi Schüpbach, Princeton University
Carl Thummel, University of Utah School of Medicine
Ecology & Evolution Teri Markow, University of California, San Diego
Trudy Mackay, North Carolina State University
Gene Expression Brian Oliver, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
Eileen Furlong, European Molecular Biology Laboratory*
Genome Organization Sue Celniker, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Gary Karpen, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory/University of California, Berkeley
Methods Norbert Perrimon, Harvard Medical School/Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Hugo Bellen, Baylor College of Medicine/Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Nervous System & Behavior John Carlson, Yale University
Jim Truman, Janelia Farm Research Campus/Howard Hughes Medical Institute*
Repair, Recombination,
& Cell Division
Scott Hawley, Stowers Institute for Medical Research
Terry Orr-Weaver, Whitehead Institute/Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stem Cells & Germline Ruth Lehmann, New York University School of Medicine/Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Allan Spradling, Carnegie Institution for Science/Howard Hughes Medical Institute
*Inaugural sections


"The core of the Drosophila community has always been the extensive sharing of information," notes Hawley. "Beginning with Bridges and Brehme and continuing through the truly priceless Ashburner books, we have depended on books to train our students and update the community."


"The tattered copy of the red book by Lindsley and Grell still sits on my desk both at work and at home," Hawley continues. "The community organizes ourselves around these resources, which live for decades – but we need a new cornerstone to capture the ever-increasing reach of the biology of Drosophila. FlyBook will be written not just by two or three altruistic scholars, but by our community. It will offer both perspective and insight, update the history books, and map out our future. It is in some ways an homage to the contributions of people like Bridges, Lindsley, and Ashburner, in the hopes of extending these contributions and fulfilling their intended promises."


"GSA is very pleased to provide significant sponsorship in launching FlyBook,” said GSA Executive Director Adam P. Fagen, PhD. “We look forward to working with the Drosophila community to publish, promote, and disseminate the important contributions that the community is making to advance knowledge in this key model organism.”


Chapters will be published individually in GENETICS online and also placed in a FlyBook collection, where additional related material will be added over time. Being published in GENETICS online and included in PubMed will ensure the widest possible readership and citations for both authors and the journal for years to come.


"More than a century of work has established Drosophila as perhaps the most important model for the function of genes and pathways conserved throughout the tree of life. FlyBook will make that fund of knowledge accessible to the expert who has long studied the organism, to the geneticist who is studying a homologous gene in another organism, to someone just starting out in a Drosophila lab,” says GENETICS Editor-in-Chief Mark Johnston (University of Colorado School of Medicine). “The editors of GENETICS are proud to catalyze another hundred years of discovery with this organism."


“With the increasing numbers of Drosophila species genomes being sequenced and analyzed, the utility of the fly model for addressing a wide range of critical biological questions is greater than ever,” adds Markow. “With FlyBook the scientific community will be able to more easily exploit opportunities presented by this system.”



Ashburner M., 1989 Drosophila: A Laboratory Handbook. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY.


Ashburner, M., K. G. Golic and R. S. Hawley, 2005 Drosophila: A Laboratory Handbook. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, Cold Spring Harbor, NY.


Bridges C. B., and K.S. Brehme, 1944 The Mutants of Drosophila melanogaster, Publ. no. 552. Carnegie Institution of Washington.


Lindsley, D. L., and E. H. Grell, 1968 Genetic Variations of Drosophila melanogaster, Publ. no. 627. Carnegie Institution of Washington.


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Since 1916, GENETICS ( has published high quality, original research on a range of topics bearing on inheritance, including population and evolutionary genetics, complex traits, developmental and behavioral genetics, cellular genetics, gene expression, genome integrity and transmission, and genome and systems biology. A peer-reviewed and peer-edited publication of the Genetics Society of America, GENETICS is one of the world’s most cited journals in genetics and heredity.

About the Genetics Society of America (GSA)

Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators. The Society’s more than 5,000 members worldwide work to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics, from the molecular to the population level. GSA promotes research and fosters communication through a number of GSA-sponsored conferences including regular meetings that focus on particular model organisms. GSA publishes two peer-reviewed, peer-edited scholarly journals: GENETICS, which has published high quality original research across the breadth of the field since 1916, and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, an open-access journal launched in 2011 to disseminate high quality foundational research in genetics and genomics. The Society also has a deep commitment to education and fostering the next generation of scholars in the field. For more information about GSA, please visit


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