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Bioelectromagnetics. 2001 Sep;22(6):371-83.

Mechanism of the fluorescent light induced suppression of Curly phenotype in Drosophila melanogaster.

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Institute of Entomology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Ceské Budejovice, Czech Republic.


A dominant mutation Curly (Cy), frequently used as a marker on the second chromosome in Drosophila melanogaster, was previously shown to be suppressed by several factors, including larval crowding, low temperature, and fluorescent light. While the first two factors affect this mutation only partially, fluorescent tube exposed flies exhibit an almost completely suppressed (wild type) phenotype. This suppressive effect is the result of a combination of the electric field and light, both factors being produced by common fluorescent tubes. In this study, experiments were carried out to clarify the basic mechanism of this unique phenomenon. Two fluorescent tube sensitive stages of Drosophila development were found in the second half of embryonic development and first half of the pupal stage. Riboflavin, which is administered to Drosophila larvae with yeast, and decomposed by light, seems to play a key role in this phenomenon. In a medium lacking riboflavin caused by light exposure, Cy expression is inhibited by the action of electric field. Positive results of experiments with lithium ions, which block the opening of Ca(2+) channels, support the hypothesis that electromagnetic fields may alter ion currents during ontogenic development of Drosophila, and thus influence, expression of the Cy gene. Also, fluorescent light induces an overexpression of a specific protein in the imaginal wing disc of Cy pupae.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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