The purpose of the experiments described was to identify X chromosome genes functioning mainly or exclusively during oogenesis. Two mutagenesis experiments were carried out with ethyl methane sulfonate. Following treatment inducing 60% lethals, 9% of the treated X chromosomes carried a female sterility mutation which did not otherwise seriously affect viability. Among —95 isolated mutants, 19 were heat-sensitive and 5 cold-sensitive. The mutants have been classified as follows: I (16 mutants; 12 complementation groups): the females laid few or no eggs; the defect concerned either ovulation or oogenesis. II (37 mutants; 18 complementation groups): the female laid morphologically abnormal eggs, often with increased membrane permeability. III A (13 mutants; at least 8 complementation groups): the homozygous females were sterile if mated to mutant males; their progeny (homo- and hemizygous) died at a late embryonic stage (11 mutants), at the larval stage (1 mutant) or at the pupal stage (1 mutant). However fertility was partly restored by breeding to wild-type males as shown by survival of some heterozygous descendants. III B (29 mutants; 22 complementation groups): the fertility of the females was not restored by breeding to a wild-type male. Most of the eggs of 13 of the mutants died at a late stage of embryogenesis. The eggs of the others ceased development earlier or, perhaps, remained unfertilized. The distribution of the number of mutants per complementation group led to an estimation of a total of about 150 X-linked genes involved in female fertility. The females of three mutants, heat-sensitive and totally sterile at 29°, produced at a lower temperature descendants morphologically abnormal or deprived of germ cells. Three other mutants not described in detail showed a reduction in female fertility with many descendants lacking germ cells. A desirable mutant which was not recovered was one with normal fertile females producing descendants which, regardless of their genotype, bore specific morphological abnormalities. The value of the mutants isolated for analysis of the complex processes leading to egg formation and initiation of development is discussed.
- Received March 3, 1975.