The effect of growth and joint formation on bristle pattern in D. melanogaster

J Exp Zool. 1976 Oct;198(1):79-95. doi: 10.1002/jez.1401980110.


Dependence of bristle pattern on size and joint formation was studied for male first leg tarsi of fj (four jointed) and d (dachs) mutants in homozygotes and in mosaics resulting from X-ray induced mitotic recombination. Homozygotes have four tarsal segments, lacking a third tarsal joint in most cases. The two proximal segments are shortened, the first by one-third, and altered in bristle pattern, whereas the distal two segments are little affected. Expressivity of fj is high, and of d is low, for the extent and frequency of joint failure. The longer the second segment, the more complete the third joint and the greater the bristle number. Only the jointed side of the segment approximates two segments in its bristle pattern. Mosaic studies show that joint failure occurs autonomously in fj, or in the majority of d clones, and that joint formation by heterozygous clones is autonomous except in the border area contacting a fj or d spot lacking a joint, in which are a joint failure occurs. Bristle pattern in this jointless heterozygous area switches to that of a single segment. Localized non-autonomy also occurs in the t-rows of heterozygous tissue contacting a fj or d spot. Both mutant genes are interpreted as reducing longitudinal growth of the proximal tarsi, with joint failure as a consequence, and with alterations of bristle pattern resulting directly from size reduction, or indirectly through joint failure.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / anatomy & histology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / growth & development*
  • Extremities / anatomy & histology
  • Extremities / growth & development
  • Female
  • Genes
  • Joints / anatomy & histology
  • Joints / growth & development
  • Male
  • Mosaicism
  • Mutation
  • Recombination, Genetic