Germ cell selection in genetic mosaics in Drosophila melanogaster

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Sep 25;98(20):11341-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.201409198.


Heritable mutations in the germ line lead to genetically heterogeneous, or mosaic, gonads. Many of the genes used in germ-line development also play roles in somatic development [Saffman, E. E. & Lasko, P. (1999) Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 55, 1141-1163]. Mutations in these genes may have cellular phenotypes throughout germ-line development leading to their differential elimination or survival, as has been observed in somatic cells [Morata, G. & Ripoll, P. (1975) Dev. Biol. 42, 211-221]. We investigate whether mutations in heterozygosis are subject to pregametic selection in the germ line. We initiated clones of wild-type homozygous cells at different stages of development in gonads heterozygous for eight different recessive chromosome deficiencies. Here we show that cell selection takes place in mosaic germ-line populations. This phenomenon represents a level of selection that precedes and conditions subsequent zygotic selection by affecting the genes available in the gametic population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Female
  • Heterozygote
  • Larva / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Mitosis
  • Mosaicism / genetics*
  • Ovary / cytology
  • Ovary / physiology
  • Recombination, Genetic / radiation effects
  • Spermatozoa / physiology*
  • Spermatozoa / radiation effects
  • X-Rays
  • Zygote / physiology*