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Genetic and molecular studies of segmentation and axon guidance in Drosophila

Shah, Sheetal Mansukhlal; (2000) Genetic and molecular studies of segmentation and axon guidance in Drosophila. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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The Drosophila embryo is patterned by a complex interplay of zygotically expressed genes and maternally supplied components. Many of these maternal components remain unidentified as they are encoded by essential zygotic genes. The FLP/FRT/DFS technique allows the identification of such genes, and a screen of this type done previously isolated candidate maternal pair-rule mutants. I have studied one of these mutants called W049 that reveals a novel maternal requirement for pair-rule gene expression in the early Drosophila embryo. The mutated locus was identified as frazzled (fra) by following the zygotic lethality of the maternal segmentation locus. Fra had been previously identified as a transmembrane receptor involved in transducing the Netrin signal during cell and axon movement. This suggested that its role in segmentation would involve an alternative signaling process as no morphogenesis occurs in the syncytial embryo. Two approaches were taken in parallel: one was to generate mutant forms of fra that lacked its conserved intracellular signaling domains in order to study Fra signaling in both segmentation and neural development. The other approach was to generate an allelic series of fra to dissect the different functions of the gene. Subsequent analysis showed that fra was not in fact the maternal segmentation locus, and that another locus on the same chromosome is responsible for the maternal segmentation phenotype. I present the results of mapping of this locus using a technique I have developed which combines existing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) data and analysis of single-stranded conformational polymorphisms (SSCP). The function of Fra in neural development was also investigated by misexpressing the mutant forms of fra that I had generated. These studies have revealed a requirement for two of the conserved intracellular domains of Fra for signaling during motoneuron target selection in the periphery

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Genetic and molecular studies of segmentation and axon guidance in Drosophila
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10101316
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