We have analyzed 31 mutations that have dominant effects on the behavior or morphology of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. These mutations appear to define 15 genes. We have studied ten of these genes in some detail and have been led to two notable conclusions. First, loss of gene function for four of these ten genes results in a wild-type phenotype; if these genes represent a random sample from the genome, then we would estimate that null mutations in about half of the genes in C. elegans would result in a nonmutant phenotype. Second, the dominant effects of mutations in nine of these ten genes are caused by novel gene functions, and in all nine cases the novel function is antagonized by the wild-type function.
- Received January 14, 1986.
- Accepted May 2, 1986.