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Genetics. 2009 May;182(1):407-10. doi: 10.1534/genetics.109.101808. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

Frequent unanticipated alleles of lethal giant larvae in Drosophila second chromosome stocks.

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  • 1Fox Chase Cancer Center, Institute for Cancer Research, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


Forty years ago, a high frequency of lethal giant larvae (lgl) alleles in wild populations of Drosophila melanogaster was reported. This locus has been intensively studied for its roles in epithelial polarity, asymmetric neural divisions, and restriction of tissue proliferation. Here, we identify a high frequency of lgl alleles in the Bloomington second chromosome deficiency kit and the University of California at Los Angeles Bruinfly FRT40A-lethal P collection. These unrecognized aberrations confound the use of these workhorse collections for phenotypic screening or genetic mapping. In addition, we determined that independent alleles of insensitive, reported to affect asymmetric cell divisions during sensory organ development, carry lgl deletions that are responsible for the observed phenotypes. Taken together, these results encourage the routine testing of second chromosome stocks for second-site alleles of lgl.

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