Ectopic expression from the Deformed gene triggers a dominant defect in Drosophila adult head development

Dev Biol. 1990 Sep;141(1):130-40. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(90)90108-u.


Drosophila adults carrying a dominant allele of the Deformed locus (DfdD) have a mutant phenotype in which lower eye and orbital structures of the adult head are eliminated. The molecular defect responsible for this dominant mutation is a large, transposon-flanked, fragment of DNA inserted downstream of the Deformed (Dfd) transcription unit. The downstream transposon-flanked insert causes the inappropriate activation of Dfd gene expression in a subset of the cells of the eye imaginal disc, resulting in their abnormal development, and in the loss of lower eye structures from the adult head. A chromosome selected for its reversion of the dominant phenotype is missing a portion of the transposon-flanked insert and reverts to a normal expression pattern of Dfd in the eye-antennal disc. Additional evidence that the dominant head phenotype is caused by ectopic expression of Dfd in the eye disc derives from experiments showing that a DfdD-like phenotype can be induced by ectopic expression of a Dfd gene under heat shock promoter control.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • DNA / analysis
  • DNA Transposable Elements / physiology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Head / anatomy & histology
  • Head / embryology*
  • Phenotype
  • Restriction Mapping


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA