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Lethal mutant screens - Dev Bio, question

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#1 0mm3



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Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:49 AM


I am having trouble understanding how a lethal mutant screen works. How can you trace back to identify which genes you have mutated when the offspring dies, due to lethal mutation?

If you X-ray mutagenise a population of the organism and then screen to see which have developmental arrest and are lethal how can you then find out what gene was mutated to cause the lethal phenotype? Wouldn't you just have a dead-end and only know that something was mutated which was essential for development but not what it actually was?

Surely the only way to know what gene had that affect would be to use RNAi for each developmental homologue IF you had the genome sequenced?

Unless you kept say each mating pair of 2 drosophila separate to the rest of the population and did this for each set of offspring (as the X-ray mutagenesis would be random causing different mutations in the population).

Any help on clearing this up would be much appreciated.

Edited by 0mm3, 15 November 2010 - 08:11 AM.

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