Dominant mutations have served as invaluable tools for Drosophila geneticists. Here we analyze the dominant eye mutation Glazed (Gla) that was described by T. H. Morgan more than 50 years ago. We show that Gla causes the loss of photoreceptor cells during pupal stages, in a process reminiscent of apoptosis, with a concomitant overproduction of eye pigment. This phenotype is very similar to that caused by the loss of D-APC, a negative regulator of Wingless (Wg) signal transduction. Genetic analyses reveal however that the Gla gain-of-function phenotype can be reverted to wild-type. By generating a P-element-induced revertant of Gla we demonstrate that Gla is allelic to wg. The molecular lesion in Gla indicates that the insertion of a roo retrotransposon leads to ectopic expression of wg during pupal stages. We show that the Gla phenotype is similar to that caused by ectopic expression of Wg driven by the sevenless (sev) enhancer. In both cases Wg exerts its effect, at least in part, by negatively regulating the expression of the Pax2 homolog sparkling (spa). Gla represents not only the first dominant allele of wg, but it may also be the first allele ever described for wg.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.