Skip to main content Accesibility Help

Experiments with the maroon-like mutation of Drosophila melanogaster

  • Moti Nissani (a1) and Chih-Ping Liu (a1)

Cell lineage analysis of the maroon-like mutation of Drosophila melanogaster revealed the most extensive degree of non-autonomy reported to date in Drosophila: all 1454 gynandromorphs in which X chromosome loss uncovered the ma-l mutation had ma-l+. eye colour. In contrast, among 331 gynandromorphs in which X chromosome loss simultaneously uncovered the vermilion and maroon-like mutations, approximately 16% had v phenotype but with one possible exception all gynandromorphs again had ma-l+ eye colour. These results suggest that very small amounts of the ma-l+ gene product are necessary for wild-type eye colour development and they are therefore compatible with the one cistron–allelic complementation model that has been proposed for the ma-l locus. They also provide the best estimate available to date of In(1)wvc-induced internal mosaicism: 7%. A preliminary attempt to detect DNA-induced transformants among 6 DNA-injected preblastoderm ma-l embryos and at least 80000 of their F1 to F4 descendants has yielded completely negative results. An investigation of the maternal effect which ma-l+ mothers exert on the eye colour of their genetically ma-l offspring revealed that, in contrast to earlier observations, this effect is not universal: some phenotypically ma-l and intermediate ma-l flies were observed in young cultures. The discrepancy between this and earner observations is probably attributable to as yet uncharacterized nutritional deficiencies in the diet of flies used in this experiment. Cytoplasm drawn from blastoderm ma-l+ embryos and injected into the posterior region of ma-l preblastoderm embryos failed to induce eye-colour alterations in all seven flies which survived the treatment. Injection of the contents of embryos of certain genotypes and developmental stages into ma-l pupae 24–48 h old did alter in some instances the eye colour of treated ma-l flies. Various tests strongly suggest that these alterations are not due to injection of a substance that has been stored in the egg during oogensis or that has been produced by the embryo itself prior to injection and they therefore preclude the possibility that a simple in vivo bioassay for the ma-l+ substance has been achieved. Rather, they indicate that the observed eye-colour alterations are due to transplantation of blastoderm-stage embryos which remain active long enough within ma-l hosts to produce and release a substance into the hosts' haemolymph and that this substance in turn induces phenotypic alterations in the hosts' eye colour. When v and ma-l eye colour changes are simultaneously monitored, it appears that injection of embryonic contents into pupae is equally or more effective in modifying the v phenotype than in modifying the ma-l phenotype. Based on these observations, a tentative hypothesis regarding the time of activation of the ma-l+ gene and the relationship between the immediate product of this gene, the maternal substance stored in the egg and the substance released by tissue transplants is proposed.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Experiments with the maroon-like mutation of Drosophila melanogaster
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Experiments with the maroon-like mutation of Drosophila melanogaster
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Experiments with the maroon-like mutation of Drosophila melanogaster
      Available formats
Hide All
Beadle, G. W. (1973). Development of eye colours in Drosophila: fat bodies and Malphigian tubes in relation to diffusible substances. Genetics 22, 587611.
Becker, H. J. (1957). Über Röntgenmosaikfleeken und Defektmutationen am Auge von Drosophila und die Entwicklungsphysiologie des Auges. Zeitschrift für Induktive Abstammungsund Vererbungslehre 88, 333373.
Bownes, M. (1975). A photographic study of development in the living embryo of Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology 33, 789801.
Chan, L.-N. & Gehring, W. (1971). Determination of blastoderm cells in Drosophila melanogaster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. 68, 22172221.
Chovnick, A. (1968). Generation of a series of Y chromosomes carrying the v + region of the X. Drosophila Information Service 43, 170.
Chovnick, A. & Sang, J. H. (1968). The effects of nutritional deficiencies on the maroon-like maternal effect in Drosophila. Genetical Research 11, 5161.
Courtright, J. B. (1976). Drosophila gene-enzyme systems. Advances in Genetics 18, 249314.
Dickinson, W. J. & Sullivan, D. T. (1975). Gene-Enzyme Systems in Drosophila. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Ephrussi, B. (1942). Chemistry of ‘eye color hormones’ of Drosophila. Quarterly Review of Biology 17, 327353.
Finnerty, V. (1976). Genetic units of Drosophila – simple cistrons. In The Genetics and Biology of Drosophila, vol. 16 (ed. Ashburner, M. and Novitski, E.), pp. 721765. London: Academic Press.
Fox, A. S. (1976). Gene transfer in Drosophila melanogaster. In Molecular Genetic Modification of Eucaryotes (ed. Rubinstein, I.). New York: Academic Press. (In the Press.)
Germaard, S. (1976). Genetic transformation in Drosophila by microinjection of DNA. Nature 262, 229231.
Gassman, E. (1957). Studies on maroon-like eye color mutant. Drosophila Information Service 31, 121122.
Glassman, E. (1965). Genetic regulation of xanthine dehydrogenase in Drosophila melanogaster. Federation Proceedings 24, 12431251.
Glassman, E. & Mitchell, H. K. (1959). Mutants of Drosophila melanogaster deficient in xanthine dehydrogenase. Genetics 44, 153162.
Graf, G. E. (1957). Biochemical predetermination in Drosophila. Experientia 13, 404405.
Hadorn, E., Hürlemann, R., Mindek, G., Schubiger, G. & Staub, M. (1968). Entwick-lungsleistungen embryonaler Blasteme von Drosophila nach Kultur im Adultwirt. Revue Suisse de Zoologie 75, 557569.
Hinton, C. W. (1955). The behaviour of an unstable ring chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster. Genetics 40, 951961.
Hotta, Y. & Benzer, S. (1973). Mapping of behaviour in Drosophila mosaics. In Genetic Mechanisms of Development (ed. Ruddle, F. H.), pp. 126167. New York: Academic Press.
Janning, W. (1974). Entwicklungsgenetische Untersuchungen an Gynandern von Drosophila melanogaster. II. Der morphogenetische Anlageplan. Wilhelm Roux' Archiv für Entwicklungsmechanik der Organismen 174, 349359.
Kankel, D. R. & Hall, J. C. (1976). Fate mapping of nervous system and other internal tissues in genetic mosaics of Drosophila melanogaster. Developmental Biology 48, 124.
Limbourg-Bouchon, B. (1976). Injection of wild and mutant-type DNA into the eggs of v; bw mutant of Drosophila melanogaster. Comptes Rendus Hebdomadairesdes Séances de L'académie des Sciences D 283, 387389.
Lindsley, D. L. & Grell, E. H. (1968). Genetic Variations of Drosophila melanogaster. Carnegie Institute of Washington Publications, 627.
Linzen, B. (1974). The tryptophan→ommochrome pathway in insects. Advances in Insect Physiology 10, 117246.
Nissani, M. (1975). Cell lineage analysis of kynurenine producing organs in Drosophila melanogaster. Genetical Research 26, 6372.
Nissani, M. (1976). Gynandromorph analysis of some aspects of sexual behaviour of Drosophila melanogaster. Animal Behaviour (in the Press).
Okada, M., Kleinman, I. A. & Schneiderman, H. A. (1974). Restoration of fertility in sterilized Drosophila eggs by transplantation of polar cytoplasm. Developmental Biology 37, 4354.
Sayles, C. D., Browder, L. M. & Williamson, J. H. (1973). Expression of xanthine dehydrogenase activity during embryonic development of Drosophila melanogaster. Developmental Biology 33, 213217.
Schubiger, M. & Schneiderman, H. A. (1971). Nuclear transplantation in Drosophila melanogaster. Nature 230, 185186.
Wright, T. R. F. (1970). The genetics of embryogenesis in Drosophila. Advances in Genetics 15, 261395.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Genetics Research
  • ISSN: 0016-6723
  • EISSN: 1469-5073
  • URL: /core/journals/genetics-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed