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Genetic analysis of Polycomb group interactions in imaginal discs of Drosophila Melanogaster and transposon tagging of the Asx Gene Campbell, Roderick B.

Abstract

The Polycomb Group of genes is essential for the maintenance of determination during Drosophila development. Previous studies have examined interactions between homozygous members of the Polycomb (Pc) Group. These studies suggest interactions occur between the members of the Pc Group but cannot provide definitive conclusions as to the nature of the interactions. Previous studies of heterozygous gene interactions have helped characterize protein-protein interactions. I have made all possible pairwise combinations of transheterozygotes of the Pc Group gene to examine the interactions which exist in imaginal discs. The results support several hypotheses: extra sexcombs (esc) and Pc act through different pathways to regulate the homeotic genes; polyhomeotic (ph), Pc, Sexcombs extra (Sce), Sex combs on mid leg (Scm), and Posteriorsex combs (Psc) act as essential members of a protein complex; alternate complexes regulate the expression of homeotics; some members of the Pc group act outside both the esc and Pc pathways. In order to define the function of the Pc Group it will be necessary to clone the members and molecularly characterize the interactions I have therefore isolated a P-element induced mutation of Additional sex combs (Asx) as the first step in cloning the gene.

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