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Mechanism of suppression in Drosophila melanogaster* VIII. Comparison of su(s) alleles for ability to suppress the mutants purple, vermilion, and speck

  • K. Bruce Jacobson (a1), E. H. Grell (a1), John J. Yim (a1) and April L. Gardner (a1)

Summary

The suppressor of sable [su(s)2] restores the function of vermilion (v), purple (pr) and speck (sp) as well as sable (s) in Drosophila melanogaster. In this report various alleles of su(s) are compared for their relative effectiveness on three target mutations, v, pr and sp. Three criteria for suppression of pr and v were employed: visible phenotype, eye pigment levels (drosopterins and xanthommatin) and enzyme levels (sepiapterin synthase and tryptophan oxygenase). For sp only the visible phenotype was examined. By all three criteria pr was found to be more easily suppressed than v; v and sp were comparable. By use of pr with various alleles of su(s) either homozygously or in heterozygous combination with su(s)+, the extent of suppression of pr can be best demonstrated by observing the levels of sepiapterin synthase; normal levels of drosopterins were found in females when sepiapterin synthase was only 20% of normal. On the other hand, the extent of suppression of v is best demonstrated by the amount of xanthommatin eye pigment, because even the suppressed vermilion fly has < 10% of wild-type activity of tryptophan oxygenase when 1-day-old flies are examined; in older flies this enzyme can be as high as 50% of wild type. From these results we also demonstrated that su(s)2, and other alleles, are not recessive but, in heterozygous combination with su(s)+, cause marked suppression of pr and slight, but reproducible, suppression of v. The purple mutation, therefore, is particularly useful for studying the mechanism of suppression as well as for obtaining new mutant alleles of su(s).

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References

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Mechanism of suppression in Drosophila melanogaster* VIII. Comparison of su(s) alleles for ability to suppress the mutants purple, vermilion, and speck

  • K. Bruce Jacobson (a1), E. H. Grell (a1), John J. Yim (a1) and April L. Gardner (a1)

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