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Insect Biochem Mol Biol. 1997 Dec;27(12):993-7.

Transient expression of the Drosophila melanogaster cinnabar gene rescues eye color in the white eye (WE) strain of Aedes aegypti.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Galvin Life Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 46556, USA.


The lack of eye pigment in the Aedes aegypti WE (white eye) colony was confirmed to be due to a mutation in the kynurenine hydroxylase gene, which catalyzes one of the steps in the metabolic synthesis of ommochrome eye pigments. Partial restoration of eye color (orange to red phenotype) in pupae and adults occurred in both sexes when first or second instar larvae were reared in water containing 3-hydroxykynurenine, the metabolic product of the enzyme kynurenine hydroxylase. No eye color restoration was observed when larvae were reared in water containing kynurenine sulfate, the precursor of 3-hydroxykynurenine in the ommochrome synthesis pathway. In addition, a plasmid clone containing the wild type Drosophila melanogaster gene encoding kynurenine hydroxylase, cinnabar (cn), was also able to complement the kynurenine hydroxylase mutation when it was injected into embryos of the A. aegypti WE strain. The ability to complement this A. aegypti mutant with the transiently expressed D. melanogaster cinnabar gene supports the value of this gene as a transformation reporter for use with A. aegypti WE and possibly other Diptera with null mutations in the kynurenine hydroxylase gene.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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