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Published May 1998 | public
Journal Article

Dual functions of the Drosophila eyes absent gene in the eye and embryo


In eyes absent (eya) mutants, eye progenitor cells undergo cell death early in development. Whereas the phenotype of eya1 is limited to the eye, other mutations are lethal. Genetic and molecular analysis reveals that mutations in one region of the gene cause embryonic lethality, whereas mutations throughout the gene cause defects in eye development. Mosaic analysis indicates that the eya requirement is cell autonomous. In eye-specific mutants, expression in the eye disc is lacking while embryonic expression is normal. Both the type I and type II transcripts are expressed in the developing eye, and expression of either can rescue the eye phenotype. These data indicate a specific requirement for eya function in eye progenitor cells that is normally fulfilled by both transcripts.

Additional Information

© 1998 Elsevier. Received 15 December 1997, Revised 24 March 1998, Accepted 24 March 1998. We thank Lynette Dowling, Eveline Eichenberger, Christine Pham, and Rosalind Young for their excellent technical assistance. We are also grateful to Haig Keshishian for donating the use of his facilities for the preparation of this manuscript; to Ed Lewis for many helpful discussions and the sharing of his expertise; and to Marc Halfon for critical reading of the manuscript. Support was by grants to S.B. from the NIH (EY09278 and AG12289), the NSF (MCB-9408718), and the James G. Boswell Foundation, and to N.M.B. from the NIH (EY11295) and the John Merck Fund.

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