Genetic dissection of a complex neurological mutant, polyhomeotic, in Drosophila.

1990_Dev Bio_Smouse.pdf15.08 MB

Date Published:

1990 May


Null mutations at the polyhomeotic locus of Drosophila produce a complex phenotype during embryogenesis, which includes death of the ventral epidermis, misregulation of homeotic and segmentation gene expression, and global misrouting of CNS axons. It is shown here, through the use of mosaic analyses, double mutant combinations, and in vitro culture experiments, that all aspects of the phenotype with the exception of the axonal phenotype are cell autonomous. The changes in homeotic and segmentation gene expression in the CNS are not caused by death of the ventral epidermis, but are cell autonomous effects which most likely cause changes in neuronal cell identity. The axonal phenotype associated with ph mutations is also independent of epidermal cell death, but may be due to the nonautonomous effects of altered neuronal identities or to death or transformation of some as yet unidentified cell type. Despite the apparent autonomy of the ph mutation, mutant neurons can influence the development of adjacent wild-type neurons, presumably by depriving them of their normal fasciculation partners.

Last updated on 06/08/2017