Isolation and characterization of Drosophila melanogaster central processing mutants
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The aim of this study is to isolate and characterize mutant fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) which are defective in central processing, with the ultimate goals of! finding the genes necessary for this process to ftInction, investigating what these genes do, and elucidating the mechanisms of central processing. Mutants that are deficient in central processing, or Type I mutants, are flies that are unable to process any form of sensory information that they receive from their environment, although their sensory receptors are intact. Twenty potential Type I mutants were found, but only one passed the Type I trait to the Fl generation. Further work is being done on this strain, M13, to map the mutant gene and characterize it, i.e. determine its response to other sensory modalities, measure its motility and geotaxis, etc. Assays for measuring responses to various sensory modalities, namely light, benzaldehyde and heat, have been developed, and responses of wild type flies in these assays were recorded. Future work in this study will include finding more Type I mutants, characterizing them, and mapping the genes involved in central processing, as well as development of further assays.