The effect of theyellow (y) locus on germ cell sensitivity to the alkylating agent ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) has been studied in Drosophila. Since DNA repair is one of the most important factors that control cell sensitivity to mutagens, the approaches used in our experiments aimed at evaluating the relationship between germ-cell mutability and activity of DNA repair. Germ-cell mutability and repair activity were assessed using several parameters, the most important of which was the frequency of the sex-linked recessive lethals (RSLLM). In one series of experiments, the adult males of various genotypes (Berlin K; y; y ct v; and y mei-9 a) were treated by mutagenic agents and then crossed to Bascfemales. Comparative analysis of germ-cell mutability as dependent on genotype and the stage of spermatogenesis showed that theyellow mutation significantly enhanced the premeiotic cell sensitivity to EMS, presumably, due to the effect on DNA repair. In the second series of experiments, the effect of the maternal DNA repair was studied and, accordingly, mutagen-treated Bascmales were crossed to females of various genotypes including y and y mei-9 a ones. The crosses involving y females yielded F1 progeny with high spontaneous lethality, whereas in F2, the frequency of spontaneous mutations was twice higher. The germ cell response to EMS depended also on female genotype: the effect of yellow resulted in increased embryonic and postembryonic lethality, whereas the RSLLM frequency decreased insignificantly. The latter result may be explained by elimination of some mutations due to 50% mortality of the progeny F1. The results obtained using the above two approaches suggest that theyellow locus has a pleiotropic effect on the DNA repair systems in both males and females of Drosophila.
Russian Journal of Genetics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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