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J Neurogenet. 1989 Sep;6(1):41-52.

Morphological defects in oraJK84 photoreceptors caused by mutation in R1-6 opsin gene of Drosophila.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, IN 46656.


The Drosophila mutant, oraJK84, lacks rhabdomeres in the major (R1-6) class of photoreceptors because these rhabdomeres rapidly degenerate in young flies. Genetic analysis reveals that oraJK84 actually contains two mutations (a ninaE and an ort allele) that affect the visual process. The mutation in ort appears to have no effect on photoreceptor structure. The other mutation occurs within the ninaE gene, which encodes the species of rhodopsin found in the R1-6 class of photoreceptors. Our analysis shows that this mutation is responsible for R1-6 rhabdomere degeneration in oraJK84 mutants. We also examined a ninaE mutant, denoted ninaEo117, that produces no ninaE transcript. The morphological phenotype observed in ninaEo117 is similar to that seen in oraJK84 mutants. We conclude that rhodopsin plays a vital role in maintaining photoreceptor structure in Drosophila.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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