- FlyShot – Drosophila CO2 Blowgun is designed to anesthetize fly colonies.
- Includes 5’ tubing and connector to FlowMate.
- Dimensions: 0.050 x 1.2”
- Introduction and Principle
The Drosophila CO2 Blowgun (FlyShot) offers variable flow control, with a compact, modern and simple design that makes it the perfect complement for Drosophila Anesthesia Solutions. Lightweight, ergonomic, and initiative to use, the output is a stainless steel needle allowing easy anesthetizing of flies. The needle tip of the apparatus enables controlled CO2 dispersal into pugged or capped vials. This apparatus, when connected to the Flowmate reduces the amount of CO2 necessary compared to continuous flow systems and prevents over-anesthetized specimens. Complementary products include the Flybed.
Carbon dioxide blowgun or fly shot is used for pre-anesthetizing fruit flies in a bottle or vial. The steel needle tip of the blowgun is inserted into the vial between the cotton plug and the sides of the vial. CO2 is introduced into the vial by pressing the trigger of the blowgun. This trigger lets control the flow of CO2 from the source into the vial. Unlike a ‘continuous flow system,’ the fly shot (blowgun) allows controlling the dosage and conserving CO2.
Apparatus and Equipment
The compact and modern CO2 blowgun is lightweight and simple to use. It consists of a stainless steel needle for supplying CO2. The tip of the needle allows controlled dispersal of carbon dioxide into the Drosophila vials. In addition to this, it has a trigger connected to the needle at one end and a 5′ tubing at the other. This tubing is connected to a carbon dioxide source. The dimensions of the apparatus are 0.50 x 1.2 inches, and if required, it can be connected with Flowmate via a connector.
- Take a vial or a bottle containing fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster colonies.
- Insert the needle of the blowgun into the vial through the cotton plug.
- Press the gun’s trigger for about 30 seconds and expose the flies to a pure CO2 source.
- Use a timer for ensuring exact 30 seconds of exposure.
- Shift the flies to fresh food bottles/vials and evenly lay them along the vial walls for observation.
- Observe the flies for a maximum of 15 minutes and record the data.
- Connect the Blow gun to the Flowmate for controlled regulation of Co2 gas flow. Connect Flowmate to the gas source. Pressing on the handle dispels gas from the needle in a controlled manner.
Check our Drosophila products: Flybed, FlyShot, FlyShot Connector, Flowmate, Anti Static FlyBrush, Replacement Needles, Active Yeast for Drosophila Studies, Drosophila Bottles, Plugs Bottles, and more!
Evaluation of the effect of environmental stresses (like CO2 exposure) on the Drosophila flies exposed to neurotropic viruses
Drosophila anesthesia CO2 blowgun is used to study the impact of environmental stress on fruit flies having asymptomatic viral infections. Chow et al. (2017) found that non-lethal CO2 exposure post-VSV (Vesicular Stomatitis Virus) infection can be deadly for Drosophila colonies. The fruit flies were infected with purified high titer stocks (greater than 1011 PFUs) of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) by dipping a pin into the stock and pricking the flies on one side thorax with this pin. Later on, the flies were shifted into the vials having normal cornmeal fly medium, following which they were subjected to CO2 recovery assay. Recovery was standardized as ‘the ability of flies to stand straight on their legs. The flies were exposed to CO2 (a general anesthetic used in Drosophila labs) for 30 seconds with the help of a CO2 blowgun and then observed for a maximum of 15 minutes. Only 30% of the VSV-infected flies survived 24 hours after 30 seconds of exposure to CO2. Chow et al. (2017) concluded that exposure to CO2 post VSV infection could cause lethal neuro-trauma in flies.
Strengths and Limitations
The CO2 anesthesia blowgun has a lot of advantages over continuous CO2 flow systems. It has a trigger button that enables the provision of the right and controlled amount of CO2 dosage to the flies and eliminates the risk of over-anesthetizing. The continuous flow systems sometimes provide the overdose of anesthesia which can kill the flies. The steel needle tip conveniently passes through the cotton or sponge plugs. The CO2 blowgun provides a pistol-like grip and is very instinctual to use.
However, CO2 exposure can cause behavioral changes in fruit flies. Therefore, one must be careful while studying the behavior of the flies. It is suggested to wait for about 24 hours after CO2 exposure while collecting data for behavioral analysis. Exposure to CO2 for longer durations is reported to cause infertility in male flies (Chaudhary et al., 2021). Therefore, the CO2 dosage provided to the flies must be controlled and conserved.
- Drosophila Anesthesia CO2 Blowgun is used to anesthetize fruit flies colonizing a bottle or a vial.
- The gun’s needle can easily pass through the cotton plugs of the vial, and the trigger is used to control the CO2 dose delivered to the flies.
- CO2 blowgun provides a controlled amount of CO2 to the flies and prevents them from over-dosage, which is harmful and sometimes lethal.
- CO2 recovery assay can be used to study the effect of environmental stress on the Drosophila flies exposed to asymptomatic viral infections.
- Chow, J., Márka, Z., Bartos, I., Márka, S., & Kagan, J. C. (2017). Environmental stress causes lethal neuro-trauma during asymptomatic viral infections. Cell host & microbe, 22(1), 48-60.
- Chaudhary, G. R., Pandey, A., Singh, A., Yadav, V., Dwivedi, V., Arya, R., and Lakhotia, S. C., (2021). Rearing and handling of Drosophila – A primer for laboratory experiments. Experiments with Drosophila for Biology Courses, p29.