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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Oct 1971; 68(10): 2594–2598.
PMCID: PMC389475

Imaginal Disc Abnormalities in Lethal Mutants of Drosophila


Late lethal mutants of Drosophila melanogaster, dying after the larval stage of development, were isolated. The homozygous mutant larvae were examined for abnormal imaginal disc morphology, and the discs were injected into normal larval hosts to test their capacities to differentiate into adult structures. In about half of the mutants analyzed, disc abnormalities were found. Included among the abnormalities were missing discs, small discs incapable of differentiating, morphologically normal discs with limited capacities for differentiation, and discs with homeotic transformations. In some mutants all discs were affected, and in others only certain discs. The most extreme abnormal phenotype is a class of “discless” mutants. The viability of these mutant larvae indicates that the discs are essential only for the development of an adult and not of a larva. The late lethals are therefore a major source of mutants for studying the genetic control of disc formation.

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Selected References

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  • Beadle GW, Ephrussi B. The Differentiation of Eye Pigments in Drosophila as Studied by Transplantation. Genetics. 1936 May;21(3):225–247. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
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Articles from Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America are provided here courtesy of National Academy of Sciences


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