In a search for mutations affecting embryonic muscle development in Drosophila we identified a mutation caused by the insertion of a P-element, which we called not enough muscles (nem). The phenotype of the P-element mutation of the nem gene suggests that it may be required for the development of the somatic musculature and the chordotonal organs of the PNS, while it is not involved in the development of the visceral mesoderm and the dorsal vessel. Mutant embryos are characterized by partial absence of muscles, monitored by immunostainings with mesoderm-specific anti-beta 3 tubulin and anti-myosin heavy chain antibodies. Besides these muscle distortions, defects in the peripheral nervous system were found, indicating a dual function of the nem gene product. Ethyl methane sulfonate-induced alleles for the P-element mutation were created for a detailed analysis. One of these alleles is characterized by unfused myoblasts which express beta 3 tubulin and myosin heavy chain, indicating the state of cell differentiation.

REFERENCES

Alberga
A.
,
Boulay
J.-L.
,
Kempe
E.
,
Dennefeld
C.
,
Haenlin
M.
(
1991
).
The snail gene required for mesoderm formation in Drosophila is expressed dynamically in derivatives of all germ layers.
Development
111
,
983
992
Andrew
D. J.
,
Scott
M. P.
(
1992
).
Downstream of homeotic genes.
New Biol
4
,
5
15
Azpiazu
N.
,
Frasch
M.
(
1993
).
Tinman and bagpipe: two homeo box genes that determine cell fate in the dorsal mesoderm of Drosophila.
Genes Dev
7
,
1325
1340
Barad
M.
,
Jack
T.
,
Chadwick
R.
,
McGinnis
W.
(
1988
).
A novel, tissue-specific, Drosophila homeobox gene.
EMBO J
7
,
2151
2161
Barad
M.
,
Erlebacher
A.
,
McGinnis
W.
(
1991
).
Despite expression in embryonic visceral mesoderm, H2.0 is not essential for Drosophila visceral muscle morphogenesis.
Dev. Genet
12
,
206
211
Bate
M.
(
1990
).
The embryonic development of larval muscles in Drosophila.
Development
110
,
791
804
Bate
M.
,
Rushton
E.
,
Currie
D. A.
(
1991
).
Cells with persistent twist expression are the embryonic precursors of adult muscles in Drosophila.
Development
113
,
79
89
Bodmer
R.
,
Jan
L. Y.
,
Jan
Y. N.
(
1990
).
A new homeobox-containing gene, msh-2, is transiently expressed early during mesoderm formation of Drosophila.
Development
110
,
661
669
Bodmer
R.
(
1993
).
The gene tinman is required for specification of the heart and visceral muscles in Drosophila.
Development
118
,
719
729
Bopp
D.
,
Jamet
E.
,
Baumgartner
S.
,
Burri
M.
,
Noll
M.
(
1989
).
Isolation of two tissue-specific Drosophila paired box genes, Pox meso and Pox neuro.
EMBO J
8
,
3447
3457
Boulay
J. L.
,
Dennefeld
C.
,
Alberga
A.
(
1987
).
The Drosophila developmental gene snail encodes a protein with nucleic acid binding fingers.
Nature
330
,
395
398
Bourgouin
C.
,
Lundgren
S. E.
,
Thomas
J. B.
(
1992
).
apterous is a Drosophila LIM domain gene required for the development of a subset of embryonic muscles.
Neuron
9
,
549
561
Campos-Ortega
J.A.
,
Knust
E.
(
1990
).
Genetics of early neurogenesis in Drosophilamelanogaster.
Annu. Rev. Genet
24
,
387
407
Cohen
B.
,
McGuffin
E.
,
Pfeifle
C.
,
Segal
D.
,
Cohen
S.M.
(
1992
).
apterous, a gene required for imaginal disc development in Drosophila encodes a member of the LIM family of developmental regulatory proteins.
Genes Dev
6
,
715
729
Cooley
L.
,
Kelley
R.
,
Spradling
A.
(
1988
).
Insertional mutagenesis of the Drosophila genome with single P-elements.
Science
239
,
1121
1128
Corbin
V.
,
Michelson
A. M.
,
Abmayr
S. M.
,
Neel
V.
,
Alcamo
E.
,
Maniatis
T.
,
Young
M. W.
(
1991
).
A role for the Drosophila neurogenic genes in mesoderm differentiation.
Cell
67
,
311
323
Dohrmann
C.
,
Azpiazu
N.
,
Frasch
M.
(
1990
).
A new Drosophila homeo box gene is expressed in mesodermal precursor cells of distinct muscles during embryogenesis.
Genes Dev
4
,
2098
2111
Gasch
A.
,
Hinz
U.
,
Leiss
D.
,
Renkawitz-Pohl
R.
(
1988
).
The expression of1 and 3 tubulin genes of Drosophila melanogaster is spatially regulated during embryogenesis.
Mol. Gen. Genet
211
,
8
16
Govind
S.
,
Steward
R.
(
1991
).
Dorsoventral pattern formation in Drosophila.
Trends Genet
7
,
119
125
Hinz
U.
,
Wolk
A.
,
Renkawitz-Pohl
R.
(
1992
).
Ultrabithorax is a regulator of 3 tubulin expression in the Drosophila visceral mesoderm.
Development
116
,
543
554
Immergluck
K.
,
Lawrence
P. A.
,
Bienz
M.
(
1990
).
Induction across germ layers in Drosophila mediated by a genetic cascade.
Cell
62
,
261
268
Ingham
P. W.
(
1988
).
The molecular genetics of embryonic pattern formation in Drosophila.
Nature
335
,
25
34
Jiang
J.
,
Kosman
D.
,
Ip
Y. T.
,
Levine
M.
(
1991
).
The dorsal morphogen gradient regulates the mesoderm determinant twist in early Drosophila embryos.
Genes Dev
5
,
1881
1891
Karess
R.E.
,
Rubin
G.M.
(
1984
).
Analysis of P transposable element functions in Drosophila.
Cell
38
,
135
146
Kidd
S.
,
Baylies
M.K.
,
Gasic
G.P.
,
Young
M.W.
(
1989
).
Structure and distribution of the Notch protein in developing Drosophila.
Genes Dev
3
,
1113
1129
Kiehart
D.P.
,
Feghali
R.
(
1986
).
Cytoplasmic myosin from Drosophila melanogaster.
J. Cell Biol
103
,
1517
1525
Lawrence
P. A.
,
Johnston
P.
,
MacDonald
P.
,
Struhl
G.
(
1987
).
Borders of parasegments in Drosophila embryos are delimited by the fushi tarazu and even-skipped genes.
Nature
328
,
440
442
Leiss
D.
,
Hinz
U.
,
Gasch
A.
,
Mertz
R.
,
Renkawitz-Pohl
R.
(
1988
).
3 tubulin expression characterises the differentiating mesodermal germ layer during Drosophila embryogenesis.
Development
104
,
525
531
Leptin
M.
,
Grunewald
B.
(
1990
).
Cell shape changes during gastrulation in Drosophila.
Development
110
,
73
84
Lewis
E.B.
,
Bacher
F.
(
1968
).
Methods of feeding ethyl methane sulfonate (EMS) to Drosophila males.
Drosophila Inf. Service
43
,
193
–.
Michelson
A. M.
,
Abmayr
S. M.
,
Bate
M.
,
Martinez-Arias
A.
,
Maniatis
T.
(
1990
).
Expression of a MyoD family member prefigures muscle pattern in Drosophila embryos.
Genes Dev
4
,
2086
2097
Olson
E.N.
(
1990
).
MyoD family: a paradigm for development?.
Genes Dev
4
,
1454
1461
Pan
D.
,
Huang
J.-D.
,
Courey
A. J.
(
1991
).
Functional analysis of the Drosophilatwist promoter reveals a dorsal-binding ventral activator region.
Genes Dev
5
,
1892
1901
Paterson
B. M.
,
Walldorf
U.
,
Eldridge
J.
,
Dubendorfer
A.
,
Frasch
M.
,
Gehring
W. J.
(
1991
).
The Drosophila homologue of vertebrate myogenic-determination genes encodes a transiently expressed nuclear protein marking primary myogenic cells.
Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA
88
,
3782
3786
Reuter
R.
,
Scott
M. P.
(
1990
).
Expression and function of the homeotic genes Antennapedia and Sex combs reduced in the embryonic midgut of Drosophila.
Development
109
,
289
303
Reuter
R.
,
Panganiban
G. E. F.
,
Hoffmann
F. M.
,
Scott
M. P.
(
1990
).
Homeotic genes regulate the spatial expression of putative growth factors in the visceral mesoderm of Drosophila embryos.
Development
110
,
1031
1040
Simpson
P.
(
1983
).
Maternal-zygotic gene interactions during formation of the dorsoventral pattern in Drosophila embryos.
Genetics
105
,
615
632
Thisse
B.
,
El Messal
M.
,
Perrin-Schmitt
F.
(
1987
).
The twist gene: isolation of a zygotic gene necessary for the establishment of dorso-ventral pattern.
Nucl. Acids Res
15
,
3439
3453
Thisse
B.
,
Stoetzel
C.
,
Gorostiza-Thisse
C.
,
Perrin-Schmitt
F.
(
1988
).
Sequence of the twist gene and nuclear localization in endomesodermal cells of early Drosophila embryos.
EMBO J
7
,
2175
2183
Thisse
C.
,
Perrin-Schmitt
F.
,
Stoetzel
C.
,
Thisse
B.
(
1991
).
Sequence-specific transactivation of the Drosophilatwist gene by the dorsal gene product.
Cell
65
,
1191
1201
Uemera
T.
,
Shepherd
S.
,
Ackerman
L.
,
Jan
L. Y.
,
Jan
Y. N.
(
1989
).
numb, a gene required in determination of cell fate during sensory organ formation in Drosophila embryos.
Cell
58
,
349
360
Zipursky
S. L.
,
Venkatesh
T. R.
,
Teplow
D. B.
,
Benzer
S.
(
1984
).
Neuronal development in the Drosophila retina: monoclonal antibodies as molecular probes.
Cell
36
,
15
26
This content is only available via PDF.