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Sex-linked, recessive, cold-sensitive mutants of Drosophila melanogaster : genetic and biochemical studies Mayoh, Helen Margaret


Cold-sensitive mutants of E. coli have been valuable in the study of the structure and assembly of bacterial ribosomes. Some cold-sensitive mutations of E. coli have been mapped to loci coding for ribosomal proteins. Other cold-sensitive mutations have been shown to alter the regulatory properties of bacterial enzymes. In contrast, little was known about the genetics and biochemistry of cold-sensitive mutants of Drosophila and other eukaryotes. Also, the genetic loci of ribosomal proteins of D. me1anogaster were unknown although the ribosomal RNA genes have been located on the X and 2nd chromosomes. Therefore the following questions were asked: Can cold-sensitive lethals of the X chromosomes of Drosophila melanogaster be isolated? If so, what are their genetic properties? Do some have altered ribosomal proteins as in cold-sensitive mutants of bacteria? The study was part of a general search for and characterization of cold-sensitive lethals of all the chromosomes of D. melanogaster. Among 3,919 EMS-treated X chromosomes, 25 were retained as cold-sensitive lethals or semi-lethals. That is, more than 20% of the flies carrying a cold-sensitive lethal survived at 22°C and none at 17°C, and for cold-sensitive semi-lethals, > 30% survived at 22°c and

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