Drosophila is an attractive organism in which to study both the rapid rounds of mitosis typical of embryonic development in many species, and the longer cell cycles of diploid tissues later in development. Mutations in genes essential for mitosis in Drosophila may result in lethality in late embryonic, larval or pupal stages of development. In addition, mutations in many genes required for the nuclear divisions of early embryogenesis have been found in screens for female sterility. The mitotic mutations have phenotypes indicative of lesions at a variety of mitotic stages. A combined molecular and genetic analysis of these genes has the potential to unravel the complex set of protein-protein interactions that occur in this dynamic process.

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