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Genetics. 1988 May;119(1):105-21.

Functional interactions between unlinked muscle genes within haploinsufficient regions of the Drosophila genome.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22901.


Mutations in 13 genes affecting muscle development in Drosophila have been examined in pairwise combinations for evidence of genetic interactions. Heterozygous combinations of mutations in five genes, including the gene coding for myosin heavy chain, result in more severe phenotypes than respective single heterozygous mutant controls. The various mutant interactions include examples showing allele-specific intergenic interactions, gene specific interactions, and allele-specific intragenic complementations, suggesting that some interactions result from the manner in which mutant gene products associate. Interactions that result from alterations in "+" gene copy number were also uncovered, suggesting that normal myofibril development requires that the relative amounts of respective gene products produced be tightly regulated. The importance of the latter parameter is substantiated by the finding that all five interacting loci map to disperse haploinsufficient or haplolethal regions of the genome. The implications of the present findings are discussed in relation to pursuing the phenomena involving genetic interactions to identify new genes encoding interacting myofibrillar proteins, to examine the nature of intermolecular interactions in mutant and normal development and to decipher the quantitative and temporal regulation of a large family of functionally related gene products.

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