Genetic and Molecular Analysis of Early Pattern Formation in Drosophila
Drosophila is a small dipteran fly and belongs to the group of holometabolous insects (Fig. 1). Both the larvae and the adult flies live on rotting fruit, and feed mainly on the fungi and bacteria which grow on these fruit. It probably had its evolutionary origins in tropical Africa, but a large number of different species can now be found throughout the world. D. melanogaster was introduced into the genetic laboratory by T.H. Morgan around 1910, mainly because it was easy to grow (generation time two weeks with about 300 offspring per female) and because it showed a wealth of morphological markers, which could be used for genetic experiments. D. melanogaster quickly became one of the genetically best analyzed organisms. Morgan received the Nobel prize for medicine in 1933 for describing the principles of genetic recombination and for the discovery of the chromosomal sex determination. One of his coworkers, H. J. Muller, received the Nobel prize in 1946 for the discovery and the description of the mutagenicity of X-rays. This international recognition has boosted Drosophila research and Drosophila has since been continuously used for the analysis of a variety of basic biological questions, ranging from biochemistry over behavioral genetics to evolution. The exchange of information and stocks among the Drosophila researchers has traditionally been very good and provides us nowadays with an exceptionally wellfounded genetic system. The degree of sophistication of the genetic experiments that can be done with Drosophila is unparalleled and this is the real strength of the system.
KeywordsTyrosine Recombination Serine Stein Tral
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Ashburner M (1989) Drosophila — a laboratory handbook. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, New York.Google Scholar
- Campos-Ortega JA, Hartenstein V (1985) The embryonic development of Drosophila melanogaster. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York.Google Scholar
- Roberts DB (1986) Drosophila — a practical approach. IRL Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
- Asburner M, Berendes HD (1978) Puffing of polytene chromosomes. In: Asburner M, Wright TRF (eds) The genetics and biology of Drosophila, vol 2 b. Academic Press, London, pp 315–395.Google Scholar
- Pirotta VH, Jäckie H, Edström JE (1983) Microcloning of microdissected chromosome fragments. In: Hollaender A, Setlow JK (eds) Genetic engineering: principles and methods, vol 5. Plenum Press, New York, pp 1–15.Google Scholar
- Poulson DF (1950) In: Demerec M (ed) The biology of Drosophila. Wiley, New York, pp 168–274.Google Scholar
- 4.Jürgens G, Wieschaus E, Nüsslein-Volhard C, Kluding H (1984) Mutations affecting the pattern of the larval cuticle in Drosophila melanogaster II. Zygotic loci on the third chromosome. Roux’s Arch Dev Biol 193:283–295.Google Scholar
- Wieschaus E, Nüsslein-Volhard C, Jürgens G (1984) Mutations affecting the pattern of the larval cuticle in Drosophila melanogaster III. Zygotic loci on the X-chromosome and the fourth chromosome. Roux’s Arch Dev Biol 193:296–307.Google Scholar
- Gehring WJ (1985) Homeotic genes, the homeobox and the genetic control of development. CSHSQB 50:243–251.Google Scholar
- 12.Martinez-Arias A, Baker NE, Ingham PW (1988) Role of segment polarity genes in the definition and maintenance of cell states in the Drosophila embryo. Development 103:157–170.Google Scholar
- Tautz D (1992) Redundancies, development and the flow of information. BioEssays (in press).Google Scholar