P-element insertion alleles of essential genes on the third chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster: mutations affecting embryonic PNS development

Genetics. 1997 Dec;147(4):1723-41. doi: 10.1093/genetics/147.4.1723.


To identify novel genes and to isolate tagged mutations in known genes that are required for the development of the peripheral nervous system (PNS), we have screened a novel collection of 2460 strains carrying lethal or semilethal P element insertions on the third chromosome. Monoclonal antibody 22C10 was used as a marker to visualize the embryonic PNS. We identified 109 mutant strains that exhibited reproducible phenotypes in the PNS. Cytological and genetic analyses of these strains indicated that 87 mutations affect previously identified genes: tramtrack (n = 18 alleles), string (n = 15), cyclin A (n = 13), single-minded (n = 13), Delta (n = 9), neuralized (n = 4), pointed (n = 4), extra macrochaetae (n = 4), prospero (n = 3), tartan (n = 2), and pebble (n = 2). In addition, 13 mutations affect genes that we identified recently in a chemical mutagenesis screen designed to isolate similar mutants: hearty (n = 3), dorsotonals (n = 2), pavarotti (n = 2), sanpodo (n = 2), dalmatian (n = 1), missensed (n = 1), senseless (n = 1), and sticky ch1 (n = 1). The remaining nine mutations define seven novel complementation groups. The data presented here demonstrate that this collection of P elements will be useful for the identification and cloning of novel genes on the third chromosome, since >70% of mutations identified in the screen are caused by the insertion of a P element. A comparison between this screen and a chemical mutagenesis screen undertaken earlier highlights the complementarity of the two types of genetic screens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / metabolism
  • Axons
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes
  • DNA Transposable Elements*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics*
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Insect*
  • Lac Operon
  • Mutagenesis
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Peripheral Nervous System / cytology
  • Peripheral Nervous System / embryology
  • Phenotype


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • DNA Transposable Elements