Two desiccation-sensitive mutants of Drosophila melanogaster were isolated. Genetic analysis showed that the phenotype is controlled by a recessive gene parched located in 1A1-8 of the X-chromosome. In a desiccated environment without any water supply, the survival time of the mutant flies was considerably shorter than that of the wild-type flies. The rate of water loss in the mutant flies was significantly higher than that of the wild-type flies, whether dead or alive. The survival time of the mosaic flies, which have the mutant and wild-type cuticle, was prolonged in proportion to the amount of wild-type cuticle which they possessed. These results suggest that the mutant has a defect in some waterproofing mechanism of the integument. The mutant flies drank much more water than the wild-type flies, to compensate for the rapid water loss. The hydrocarbons, which are the predominant constituent of cuticular lipids, were analyzed by gas-liquid chromatography, but there were no significant quantitative nor qualitative differences between the wild-type and the mutant flies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science