An Analysis of the Developmental Effects of the Embryonic Lethal Mutation X-23 in Drosophila

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, Vol: 71, Issue: 1, Page: 460-466

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Reitan, Phillip J.
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The developmental abnormalities resulting from a recessive, second chromosome, X-ray induced lethal mutation acting during the embryonic period of Drosophila melanogaster are described. Embryos of 18-22 hours of development were studied. The pattern of abnormalities indicates that the lethal effect was due to a general cessation of development during the period from 9-14 hours. There is a general failure of mid-gut and muscle development. The hypoderm, foregut and hindgut structures appear to have developed normally. In the absence of muscle development, hypodermal differentiation produces deep furrows which distort the structure of the embryo. Variation in the expression of the lethal genotype produces some differences in the morphogenetic movements of this period. Germ band shortening occurs regularly, dorsal closure is sometimes present and head involution is seen in one embryo. These differences are related to the degree of hypodermal differentiation and muscle development which occurs. This is interpreted to mean that the force generated by the thinning and spreading of the hypoderm is responsible for these movements. In the course of normal development this force is controlled by the concurrent differentiation of the musculature.