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J Neurogenet. 2000 Sep;14(3):145-64.

Geko, a novel gene involved in olfaction in Drosophila melanogaster.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science; Kyushu University, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan. tyamascb@mbox.nc.kyushu-u.ac.jp


To characterize genes involved in olfactory responses to chemical attractants, we screened 3000 P-element-tagged lines for their attraction to ethanol. Ten lines showed reduced levels of response, and revertants of these lines were obtained by excising the inserted P-element. The olfactory response of one line reverted to wild-type behavior compared to the original mutant line. The gene affected by this P-lacW insertion was named geko (gk). A 1.3-kb transcript was found to emanate from close to the P-insertion site, and the 5' upstream region was interrupted by the P-element. The amount of mRNA of gk gene in the P-lacW inserted line was about half that of the control strain. The response to ethanol of the gk(1) mutant was restored by transforming the genomic region containing this transcription unit. lacZ expression (stemming from this reporter-gene's presence in the transposon) was observed in the antenna and the antennal-maxillary complex (the olfactory organ of adults and larvae, respectively). gk mRNA was detected at the antenna and from other parts of the body. The deduced gk product showed no overall similarity to any reported amino-acid sequences.

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