Volume 80, Issue 2
August 2001, pages 55-118
pp 55-61 August 2001
A convenient assay to score repeat-induced point mutation (RIP) inNeurospora employs theerg-3 locus as a mutagenesis target. Using this assay we screened 132 wild-isolatedNeurospora crassa strains for ability to dominantly suppress RIP. RIP was exceptionally inefficient in crosses with the wild isolates Sugartown (P0854) and Adiopodoume-7 (P4305), thereby suggesting the presence of dominant RIP suppressors in these strains. In other experiments, we found no evidence for dominant RIP suppression by theSpore killer haplotypesSk-2 andSk-3.
pp 63-75 August 2001
In theDrosophila literature, selection for faster development and selection for adapting to high density are often confounded, leading, for example, to the expectation that selection for faster development should also lead to higher competitive ability. At the same time, results from experimental studies on evolution at high density do not agree with many of the predictions from classical density-dependent selection theory. We put together a number of theoretical and empirical results from the literature, and some new experimental results onDrosophila populations successfully subjected to selection for faster development, to argue for a broader interpretation of density-dependent selection. We show that incorporating notions of α-selection, and the division of competitive ability into effectiveness and tolerance components, into the concept of density-dependent selection yields a formulation that allows for a better understanding of the empirical results. We also use this broader formulation to predict that selection for faster development inDrosophila should, in fact, lead to the correlated evolution of decreased competitive ability, even though it does lead to the evolution of greater efficiency and higher population growth rates at high density when in monotypic culture.
pp 77-81 August 2001
Mating activity and wing length were investigated in the F1 progeny ofDrosophila willistoni females collected in the field to examine any possible relationship between body size and mating success. The flies were observed in a mating chamber under laboratory conditions. No significant differences in wing length were observed between copulating and noncopulating flies, and there was no significant correlation between wing length and copulation latency for both males and females. These results therefore suggest that the commonly accepted view that large body size is positively correlated with mating success inDrosophila does not always hold true. The results support the view that the extent of environmentally induced variation in body size may be an important factor in determining whether an association between body size and mating success is observed inDrosophila species.
pp 83-95 August 2001
We report novel findings on the cytogenetic location, functional complexity and maternal and germline roles of thestambh A locus ofDrosophila melanogaster. stmA is localized to polytene bands 44D1.2 on 2R.stmA mutations are of two types: temperature-sensitive (ts) adult and larval paralytic or unconditional embryonic or larval lethal. Twelve alleles reported in this study fall into two intragenic complementing groups suggesting thatstmA is a complex locus with more than one functional domain. Some unconditional embryonic lethal alleles show a ‘neurogenic’ phenotype of cuticle loss accompanied by neural hypertrophy. It is shown that embryos of ts paralytic alleles also show mild neural hypertrophy at permissive temperatures while short exposure to heat induces severe cuticle loss in these embryos.stmA exerts a maternal influence over heat-induced cuticle loss. Unconditional embryonic lethal alleles ofstmA are also germline lethal.
pp 97-110 August 2001
Of the several noncoding transcripts produced by thehsrΩ gene ofDrosophila melanogaster, the nucleus-limited >10-kb hsrΩ-n transcript colocalizes with heterogeneous nuclear RNA binding proteins (hnRNPs) to form fine nucleoplasmic omega speckles. Our earlier studies suggested that the noncoding hsrΩ-n transcripts dynamically regulate the distribution of hnRNPs in active (chromatin bound) and inactive (in omega speckles) compartments. Here we show that a P transposon insertion in this gene's promoter (at -130 bp) in the hsrΩ05241 enhancer-trap line had no effect on viability or phenotype of males or females, but the insertion-homozygous males were sterile. Testes of hsrΩ05241 homozygous flies contained nonmotile sperms while their seminal vesicles were empty. RNA: RNAin situ hybridization showed that the somatic cyst cells in testes of the mutant male flies contained significantly higher amounts of hsrΩ-n transcripts, and unlike the characteristic fine omega speckles in other cell types they displayed large clusters of omega speckles as typically seen after heat shock. Two of the hnRNPs, viz. HRB87F and Hrp57A, which are expressed in cyst cells, also formed large clusters in these cells in parallel with the hsrΩ-n transcripts. A complete excision of the P transposon insertion restored male fertility as well as the fine-speckled pattern of omega speckles in the cyst cells. Thein situ distribution patterns of these two hnRNPs and several other RNA-binding proteins (Hrp40, Hrb57A, S5, Sxl, SRp55 and Rb97D) were not affected by hsrΩ mutation in any of the meiotic stages in adult testes. The present studies, however, revealed an unexpected presence (in wild-type as well as mutant) of the functional form of Sxl in primary spermatocytes and an unusual distribution of HRB87F along the retracting spindle during anaphasetelophase of the first meiotic division. It appears that the P transposon insertion in the promoter region causes a misregulated overexpression of hsrΩ in cyst cells, which in turn results in excessive sequestration of hnRNPs and formation of large clusters of omega speckles in these cell nuclei. The consequent limiting availability of hnRNPs is likely totrans-dominantly affect processing of other pre-mRNAs in cyst cells. We suggest that a compromise in the activity of cyst cells due to the aberrant hnRNP distribution is responsible for the failure of individualization of sperms in hsrΩ05241 mutant testes. These results further support a significant role of the noncoding hsrΩ-n transcripts in basic cellular activities, namely regulation of the availability of hnRNPs in active (chromatin bound) and inactive (in omega speckles) compartments.
pp 111-116 August 2001
More than 100 mutations have been reported till date in the rhodopsin gene in patients with retinitis pigmentosa. The present study was undertaken to detect the reported rhodopsin gene point mutations in Indian retinitis pigmentosa patients. We looked for presence or absence of codon 345 and 347 mutations in exon 5 of the gene using the technique of allele-specific polymerase chain reaction by designing primers for each mutation. We have examined 100 patients from 76 families irrespective of genetic categories. Surprisingly, in our sample the very widely reported highly frequent mutations of codon 347 (P → S/A/R/Q/L/T) were absent while the codon 345 mutation V → M was seen in three cases in one family (autosomal dominant form) and in one sporadic case (total two families). This is the first report on codon 345 and 347 mutation in Indian retinitis pigmentosa subjects.
pp 117-118 August 2001
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