A Genetic Modifier Screen Identifies Chromosomal Intervals Harboring Potential Midline Interacting Genes

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Biological Sciences


We are using a genetic modifier screen and RNA interference (RNAi) methodology to identify genes that interact with the Drosophila T-box transcription factor midline (mid). This screen assays a dosage-sensitive, eye-specific mutant phenotype observed when levels of midline are reduced in the developing eye imaginal disc by RNAi and placed within a second chromosomal deficiency background. Thus far, we have uncovered several third chromosomal intervals harboring potential mid-interacting genes. By chromosomal deficiency mapping, we have delimited the cytological intervals of interest within each deficiency line and are now obtaining mutant alleles of all candidate genes to determine which gene or genes interact with mid to: 1) affect sensory organ precursor formation giving rise to interommatidial bristles, 2) affect cell-fate specification in the embryonic CNS, 3) affect the formation of the ventral nerve cord via the regulation of axon guidance molecules and/or 4) affect other unique cell biological processes that are essential for proper eye and CNS development. The culmination of these studies will provide a greater understanding of mid function as a key component of conserved regulatory signaling pathways that guide the development of multiple tissues.

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Developmental Biology





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