A large-scale screen for mutagen-sensitive loci in Drosophila

Genetics. 2004 May;167(1):217-31. doi: 10.1534/genetics.167.1.217.


In a screen for new DNA repair mutants, we tested 6275 Drosophila strains bearing homozygous mutagenized autosomes (obtained from C. Zuker) for hypersensitivity to methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) and nitrogen mustard (HN2). Testing of 2585 second-chromosome lines resulted in the recovery of 18 mutants, 8 of which were alleles of known genes. The remaining 10 second-chromosome mutants were solely sensitive to MMS and define 8 new mutagen-sensitive genes (mus212-mus219). Testing of 3690 third chromosomes led to the identification of 60 third-chromosome mutants, 44 of which were alleles of known genes. The remaining 16 mutants define 14 new mutagen-sensitive genes (mus314-mus327). We have initiated efforts to identify these genes at the molecular level and report here the first two identified. The HN2-sensitive mus322 mutant defines the Drosophila ortholog of the yeast snm1 gene, and the MMS- and HN2-sensitive mus301 mutant defines the Drosophila ortholog of the human HEL308 gene. We have also identified a second-chromosome mutant, mus215(ZIII-2059), that uniformly reduces the frequency of meiotic recombination to <3% of that observed in wild type and thus defines a function required for both DNA repair and meiotic recombination. At least one allele of each new gene identified in this study is available at the Bloomington Stock Center.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • DNA / metabolism
  • DNA Repair
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Mechlorethamine
  • Meiosis
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagens*
  • Mutation
  • Nondisjunction, Genetic
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Mutagens
  • Mechlorethamine
  • DNA
  • Methyl Methanesulfonate