Göttingen X-Chromosome Project

Systematic functional analysis and mapping of X-chromosomal genes in Drosophila melanogaster

Ulrich Schäfer, Annette Peter, Petra Schöttler, Meike Werner, Lore Dentzer and Herbert Jäckle

Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, Abteilung Molekulare Entwicklungsbiologie, D-37070 Göttingen, Germany



It is well established that genes as well as regulatory circuitries that were functionally identified in model organisms, such as Drosophila, are molecularly conserved throughout animal kingdom, including man. This then allows us to use Drosophila genes that are identified by functional studies as a means towards an understanding of human genes as they emerge from human genome sequencing projects. Towards this aim we identify in a systematic way all the genes on the Drosophila melanogaster X chromosome that are essential for viability.

In our project vital X-chromosomal gene functions will be targeted by transposon mutagenesis using a recombinant enhancer trap version of a Drosophila-specific transposon, the "P-lacW element". Employing appropriate markers during the crosses, females containing a re-inserted P-lacW insertion on the X-chromosome that induces a lethal mutation can be identified among the resulting progeny. We have screened over 38,000 individual females bearing a new P-lacW insertion. From these we have established about 500 lethal mutations that carry a single P-lacW insertions on the X-chromosome. In addition, we have also isolated over 50 PX-viable lines which show a mutant phenotype.

Supported by grant 01 KW9632/9 from the Deutsches Humangenomprojekt to H. Jäckle.

Generation of PX lines

P: w/w; P{lacW}/P{lacW} X w/Y; wgSp/CyO; ry Sb P{ry+ D2-3}(99B)/TM6B

F1: FM6/FM6 X w/Y; P{lacW}/CyO; ry Sb P{ry+ D2-3}(99B)/+

F2: w/FM6; CyO/+ X FM7c/Y

(F2 females with P{lacW} somewhere)


In case of an X-chromosomal insertion with lethal phenotype, only FM6/Y sons will eclose.

=> Establish line over FM7c-balancer!


FM6: In(1)FM6, y31d sc8 w B

FM7c: In(1)FM7, y31d sc8 wa snX2 vOf g4 B