We have isolated 13 fluoride-resistant mutants of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. All the mutations are recessive and mapped to five genes. Mutants in three of the genes (class 1 genes: flr-1 X, flr-3 IV, and flr-4 X) are resistant to 400 μg/ml NaF. Furthermore, they grow twice as slowly as and have smaller brood size than wild-type worms even in the absence of fluoride ion. In contrast, mutants in the other two genes (class 2 genes: flr-2 V and flr-5 V) are only partially resistant to 400 μg/ml NaF, and they have almost normal growth rates and brood sizes in the absence of fluoride ion. Studies on the phenotypes of double mutants showed that class 2 mutations are epistatic to class 1 mutations concerning growth rate and brood size but hypostatic with respect to fluoride resistance. We propose two models that can explain the epistasis. Since fluoride ion depletes calcium ion, inhibits some protein phosphatases and activates trimeric G-proteins, studies on these mutants may lead to discovery of a new signal transduction system that controls the growth of C. elegans.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1 1994|
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