We generated a library of ~1,000stocks in which we inserted a construct in the intron of genes allowing expression ofunder control of endogenous promoters while arresting transcription with a polyadenylation signal 3' of the GAL4. This allows numerous applications. First, ~90% of insertions in essential genes cause a severe loss-of-function phenotype, an effective way to mutagenize genes. Interestingly, 12/14 chromosomes engineered through CRISPR do not carry second-site lethal mutations. Second, 26/36(70%) of lethal insertions tested are rescued with a singlecDNA construct. Third, loss-of-function phenotypes associated with manyinsertions can be reverted by excision with. Fourth,drivenreports tissue and cell type specificity of gene expression with high sensitivity. We report the expression of hundreds of genes not previously reported. Finally, inserted cassettes can be replaced withor any DNA. These stocks comprise a powerful resource for assessing gene function.
In a developing Drosophila melanogaster embryo, mRNAs have a maternal origin, a zygotic origin, or both. During the maternal-zygotic transition, maternal products are degraded and gene expression comes under the control of the zygotic genome. To interrogate the function of mRNAs that are both maternally and zygotically expressed, it is common to examine the embryonic phenotypes derived from female germline mosaics. Recently, the development of RNAi vectors based on short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) effective during oogenesis has provided an alternative to producing germline clones. Here, we evaluate the efficacies of: (1) maternally loaded shRNAs to knockdown zygotic transcripts and (2) maternally loaded Gal4 protein to drive zygotic shRNA expression. We show that, while Gal4-driven shRNAs in the female germline very effectively generate phenotypes for genes expressed maternally, maternally loaded shRNAs are not very effective at generating phenotypes for early zygotic genes. However, maternally loaded Gal4 protein is very efficient at generating phenotypes for zygotic genes expressed during mid-embryogenesis. We apply this powerful and simple method to unravel the embryonic functions of a number of pleiotropic genes.