A holidic medium for Drosophila melanogaster

Nat Methods. 2014 Jan;11(1):100-5. doi: 10.1038/nmeth.2731. Epub 2013 Nov 17.


A critical requirement for research using model organisms is a well-defined and consistent diet. There is currently no complete chemically defined (holidic) diet available for Drosophila melanogaster. We describe a holidic medium that is equal in performance to an oligidic diet optimized for adult fecundity and lifespan. This holidic diet supports development over multiple generations but at a reduced rate. Over 7 years of experiments, the holidic diet yielded more consistent experimental outcomes than did oligidic food for egg laying by females. Nutrients and drugs were more available to flies in holidic medium and, similar to dietary restriction on oligidic food, amino acid dilution increased fly lifespan. We used this holidic medium to investigate amino acid-specific effects on food-choice behavior and report that folic acid from the microbiota is sufficient for Drosophila development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / chemistry
  • Animal Feed*
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Choice Behavior
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods*
  • Genetics, Behavioral / methods
  • Longevity
  • Time Factors


  • Amino Acids