I finally managed to delete a gene using CRISPR! So I've been waiting 11 days to see what the homozygous mutants look like.
13 days later (because the food isn't so great) and...
They look absolutely fine.
Bugger. I'll have to wait a few days to see whether they are fertile and a few more until they possibly drop dead or start behaving oddly. Chances are they don't have anything wrong with them which means I'll have to start poking around a little more.
There are several options - a sensible one is to do some genetic interactions with candidate genes (that have a phenotype when mutated) obtained from an interactome I obtained. The caveat there is that it's an interactome for the human protein and not the fly one. Ideally make a mutant phenotype better/worse when adding my mutation to the mix.
Another option is to look a lot closer. Based on expression data there seems to be an enrichment in hemocytes (sort of fly macrophages) and the Central Nervous System. Given I share lab space with experts on hemocyte function and behaviour it seems like it's worth a quick look in that direction. The central nervous system I can delve into with simple things like "is there a difference in size/appearance" but I'd also probably hope to see things go wrong with the flies as they get older.
Anyway, there's a bit of work to be done yet until I find a solid lead. Now I have the mutant I may as well at least establish that it conclusively does nothing before moving on.
So yeah - no, no, no you can't disguise. Tell me Flies.