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EMBO J. 1982;1(3):307-10.

Gene-dose titration analysis in the search of trans-regulatory genes in Drosophila.


We have searched for trans-regulatory genes in two genetic systems in Drosophila, the bithorax complex (BX-C) and the achaete-scute complex (AS-C). Previous genetic evidence suggests that the activation of both BX-C and AS-C, depends on trans-regulatory genes (Polycomb, Pc, in the former and hairy, h, in the latter) acting in a negative type of control. Mutants of these regulatory genes in heterozygous condition have dominant derepression phenotypes in flies with extra doses of the corresponding gene complexes. We have searched for new loci, with similar gene-dose relationships. We have isolated only new alleles (six) of Pc in the BX-C experiment. In the AS-C experiment four h alleles, and 13 alleles of a new locus (extramacrochaetae, emc) have been discovered. Whereas the h locus shows specific interactions upon achaete, the new locus, emc, is specific for the scute part of the AS-C. Statistical analysis suggests that these are the only loci in the genome with those dose-dependent properties in the two systems.

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