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G3 (Bethesda). 2014 Jan 10;4(1):185-96. doi: 10.1534/g3.113.008532.

Uncovering buffered pleiotropy: a genome-scale screen for mel-28 genetic interactors in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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1
Fairfield University Biology Department, Fairfield, Connecticut 06824.

Abstract

mel-28 (maternal-effect-lethal-28) encodes a conserved protein required for nuclear envelope function and chromosome segregation in Caenorhabditis elegans. Because mel-28 is a strict maternal-effect lethal gene, its function is required in the early embryo but appears to be dispensable for larval development. We wanted to test the idea that mel-28 has postembryonic roles that are buffered by the contributions of other genes. To find genes that act coordinately with mel-28, we did an RNA interference-based genetic interaction screen using mel-28 and wild-type larvae. We screened 18,364 clones and identified 65 genes that cause sterility in mel-28 but not wild-type worms. Some of these genes encode components of the nuclear pore. In addition we identified genes involved in dynein and dynactin function, vesicle transport, and cell-matrix attachments. By screening mel-28 larvae we have bypassed the requirement for mel-28 in the embryo, uncovering pleiotropic functions for mel-28 later in development that are normally provided by other genes. This work contributes toward revealing the gene networks that underlie cellular processes and reveals roles for a maternal-effect lethal gene later in development.

KEYWORDS:

C. elegans; germline; gonad; mel-28; synthetic sterility

PMID:
24281427
PMCID:
PMC3887534
DOI:
10.1534/g3.113.008532
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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