Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Biology (B.S.B.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Dongyu Jia


Biological organisms follow strict gene expression for the formation of living tissues. Any variation in the highly regulated genetic expression can cause abnormalities in the tissues. Recent research has shown certain human genes have interfered with both the formation of tissues and progression of cancers. Drosophila is a commonly used human disease model for genetic testing due to its cheap upkeep cost and conserved genome. Our lab conducted a genetic screen to identify which human genes cause an alteration in the morphology of the Drosophila eye. Virgin female GMR-GAL4 flies were crossed with males containing human genes from the Bloomington Drosophila Stock Center. The offspring were analyzed for abnormal eye tissues and photographed using a light microscope and SEM microscope. We found and identified several genes that modified the morphology of the Drosophila eye tissue such as reduced eye size, disorganized ommatidia, ommatidia apoptosis, increased eye bristles, reduced eye bristles, and rough eye. This screening allowed us to identify which human genes will be of interest to experiment further with. Using our screen, we demonstrate how hundreds of human genes can be rapidly tested and analyzed for interferences in the genetic expression of the Drosophila eye through morphological expression.

Available for download on Friday, May 01, 2026