skip to content

Fly Facility

Department of Genetics

Using our isolation / quarantine area (room 301)

Our isolation/quarantine area is located in room 301 in the east attic. It is directly accesible from the department's reception area via the lift or stairs. Please note that you will need an access card to enter 301. The isolation/quarantine area is shared with Adelaide Carpenter (Glover lab) so care needs to be taken not to disrupt Adelaide’s work.

Using the area:

  • Work at one of the two stations on the right side of the internal room (301B). Both have a microscope and CO2 supply. The left side of the room is for Adelaide’s use.
  • As far as possible, schedule your work in 301B for the morning (before noon) to avoid times when Adelaide is using the room. This is not a strict rule, but morning working should help reduce space issues.
  • When you have finished working, swab the bench surface with alcohol and remove all old flies vials (including any broken vials) from the room. If you have seen any mites or other infections, the used vials should go straight to the autoclave in the basement. Otherwise it should be fine to put them in the red trolleys or bins in the fly lab (115).
  • There are two dedicated quarantine incubators. To reach the incubators, go through the rear door of 301 into the attic storage area. The incubators are on your right and are clearly labeled “Quarantine 25oC”. They are on the opposite side of the attic to the -80 freezers.

How to quarantine new Drosophila stocks

To guard against mites, all flies coming into the Genetics building from other labs or stock centres must go directly to the Isolation/Quarantine area and remain there for at least 2 full generations. Our recommended quarantine procedure is:

  1. Write the arrival date on the fly vial you have just received. Transfer any adults, or the first flies that eclose, into a fresh vial. These are your G0 flies.
  2. Keep the original vial for at least 3 weeks. Periodically inspect it, under a dissecting microscope, to check for the presence of adult mites and/or mite eggs especially around the pupal cases.
  3. When it is clear that your new culture is growing well, discard the G0 adults and allow the F1 adults to develop. Inspect the vial regularly for the presence of mites or other problems e.g. fungal or bacterial growth.
  4. Transfers some F1 adults to a new vial. When this culture is growing well, discard the F1 adults and allow the F2 generation to develop. Regularly inspect the tube for mites etc.
  5. If no mites were seen in the original vial or any of the subsequent vials then some F2 flies can be transferred into a new vial and brought into the main lab.
  6. If mites are detected at any time you can attempt to rescue the stock by selecting a small number of mite-free flies and performing rapid transfers (as described above). You must then repeat the full quarantine procedure.
If you need to work with a new stock that is still in quarantine, you can set up your crosses in the Isolation/Quarantine area. If no mites have been seen after the full quarantine process is complete, the experiment can then be moved to the main fly lab.
IMPORTANT: If you are unsure what mites look like or would like confirmation that your cultures are mite-free, please ask a member of the Fly Facility staff or some other experienced fly worker.

Contact Information

Tiny fly

E-mail contacts

Simon Collier (Fly Facility Manager):

General Fly Facility enquiries:

Microinjection enquiries:

Fly food enquiries:

Stock collection requests and enquiries:


Department of Genetics,
University of Cambridge, Downing Street,
Cambridge CB2 3EH,
United Kingdom

Phone: +44 (0)1223 765124
Fax: +44 (0)1223 333992


The Fly Facility webpages are maintained by Simon Collier. Please contact me ) if you have any problems using the site.