Abstract

We are using Drosophila as a model system for analysis of immunity and tumor formation and have conducted two types of screens using enhancer detector strains to find genes related to these processes: genes expressed in the immune system (type A, hemocytes, lymph glands and fat body) and genes increased in expression by bacterial infection (type B). For type A, tissue-specific reporter gene activity was determined. For type B, a variation of enhancer detection was devised in which β-galactosidase is assayed spectrophotometrically with and without bacterial infection. Because of immune system involvement in melanotic tumor formation, a third type was hypothesized to be found among types A and B: genes that, when mutated, have a melanotic tumor phenotype. Enhancer detector strains (2800) were screened for type A, 900 for B, and 11 retained for further analysis. Complementation tests, cytological mapping, P-element mobilization, and determination of lethal phase and mutant phenotype have identified six novel genes, Dorothy, wizard, toto, Viking, Thor and dappled, and one previously identified gene, Collagen IV. All are associated with reporter gene expression in at least one immune system tissue. Thor has increased expression upon infection. Mutations of wizard and dappled have a melanotic tumor phenotype.

  • Received December 27, 1995.
  • Accepted March 14, 1996.