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Dichaete Genetic Mutations In Fruit Flies

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The Drosophila melanogaster organism has been favored throughout decades as a model organism for its ability to be cultured in mass, has a short generation time, and, with a myriad of mutations to be mapped to the organism, organisms with certain mutations can be ready at hand to further study. The inception of the D. melanogaster research started in Columbia University at the hand of Thomas Hunt Morgan. Morgan’s different views in genetics led to questioning Mendel’s past research and finding faults in his inheritance patterns and ratios. Mutations in fruit flies were discovered in a small fraction of flies in 1907 by Frank Lutz who found some flies had extra venation and successfully bred them to all have extra venation over eight generations.…show more content…
Molecularly, the Dichaete gene codes for proper segmentation and development in flies by encoding SOX proteins. In an experiment by P.A and J.R Nambu, pair-rule and segment polarity genes were examined and results showed that the ftz gene expression was altered when the D gene was altered in a fly and led to stripes being fused together and other not be prominent. On a molecular level, D is vital in the expression of segmentation segment polarity genes like ftz, otherwise, if mutated, it leads to severe segmentation mutations (Nambu, 1996). When D was immunostained with mAb BP102, embryos showed central nervous system mutations resulting in deletion of ganglia, narrowing axons, and completely fused anterior and posterior axons. DNA analyses have concluded that the D gene encodes a protein gene that is made up of 382 amino acids. Transcription of D first starts in cycle 13 in embryos and then splits into two regions by the 14th cycle. In gastrulation, the transcription of D changes and the ectodermal stripes that are shown in embryos are then replaced with columns. As mentioned before, the Dichaete mutants exhibit segmentation defects in flies. Situ hybridization was used to attempt to identify genes in CNS development. One of the first was beta-galactosidase in various enhancer trap strains. The expression of beta-galactose became restricted to developing neuroectoderm, which explains that the D gene plays a role in segmentation and CNS development. (Aleksik,
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