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Genetics. May 2004; 167(1): 203–206.
PMCID: PMC1470872

The Zuker collection: a resource for the analysis of autosomal gene function in Drosophila melanogaster.


The majority of genes of multicellular organisms encode proteins with functions that are not required for viability but contribute to important physiological functions such as behavior and reproduction. It is estimated that 75% of the genes of Drosophila melanogaster are nonessential. Here we report on a strategy used to establish a large collection of stocks that is suitable for the recovery of mutations in such genes. From approximately 72,000 F(3) cultures segregating for autosomes heavily treated with ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS), approximately 12,000 lines in which the treated second or third chromosome survived in homozygous condition were selected. The dose of EMS induced an estimated rate of 1.2-1.5 x 10(-3) mutations/gene and predicts five to six nonessential gene mutations per chromosome and seven to nine alleles per locus in the samples of 6000 second chromosomes and 6000 third chromosomes. Due to mosaic mutations induced in the initial exposure to the mutagen, many of the lines are segregating or are now fixed for lethal mutations on the mutagenized chromosome. The features of this collection, known as the Zuker collection, make it a valuable resource for forward and reverse genetic screens for mutations affecting a wide array of biological functions.

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Selected References

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