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Genetics. 1985 Aug;110(4):647-70.

Mutations in genes encoding essential mitotic functions in Drosophila melanogaster.


Temperature-sensitive mutations at 15 loci that affect the fidelity of mitotic chromosome behavior have been isolated in Drosophila melanogaster. These mitotic mutants were detected in a collection of 168 EMS-induced X-linked temperature-sensitive (ts) lethal and semilethal mutants. Our screen for mutations with mitotic effects was based upon the reasoning that under semirestrictive conditions such mutations could cause an elevated frequency of mitotic chromosome misbehavior and that such events would be detectable with somatic cell genetic techniques. Males hemizygous for each ts lethal and heterozygous for the recessive autosomal cell marker mwh were reared under semirestrictive conditions, and the wings of those individuals surviving to adulthood were examined for an increased frequency of mwh clones. Those mutations producing elevated levels of chromosome instability during growth of the wing imaginal disc were also examined for their effects on chromosome behavior in the cell lineages producing the abdominal cuticle. Fifteen mutations affect chromosome behavior in both wing and abdominal cells and thus identify loci generally required for the fidelity of mitotic chromosome transmission. Mapping and complementation tests show that these mutations represent 15 loci. One mutant is an allele of a locus (mus-101) previously identified by mutagen-sensitive mutants and a second mutant is an allele of the lethal locus zw 10.--The 15 mutants were also examined cytologically for their effects on chromosomes in larval neuroblasts. Taken together, the results of our cytological and genetical studies show that these mutants identify loci with wild-type functions necessary for either maintenance of chromosome integrity or regular disjunction of chromosomes or chromosome condensation. Thus, these mutations define a broad spectrum of genes required for the normal execution of the mitotic chromosome cycle.

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