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Genetics. 2007 Aug;176(4):2279-91. Epub 2007 Jul 1.

A clonal genetic screen for mutants causing defects in larval tracheal morphogenesis in Drosophila.

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  • 1Institute of Genetics, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Strasse 47, D-50674 Cologne, Germany.


The initial establishment of the tracheal network in the Drosophila embryo is beginning to be understood in great detail, both in its genetic control cascades and in its cell biological events. By contrast, the vast expansion of the system during larval growth, with its extensive ramification of preexisting tracheal branches, has been analyzed less well. The mutant phenotypes of many genes involved in this process are probably not easy to reveal, as these genes may be required for other functions at earlier developmental stages. We therefore conducted a screen for defects in individual clonal homozygous mutant cells in the tracheal network of heterozygous larvae using the mosaic analysis with a repressible cell marker (MARCM) system to generate marked, recombinant mitotic clones. We describe the identification of a set of mutants with distinct phenotypic effects. In particular we found a range of defects in terminal cells, including failure in lumen formation and reduced or extensive branching. Other mutations affect cell growth, cell shape, and cell migration.

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