Fruit fly 'spineless' gene studied

April 4, 2006

New York University researchers have discovered a gene that's involved with a fruit fly's antenna development also gives the organism its color vision.

NYU Biology Professor Claude Desplan and his students made the discovery, with University of Washington Professor Ian Duncan and his wife, Research Assistant Dianne Duncan, providing the Desplan laboratory with fruit fly clones, mutants and technical assistance that helped locate where the gene, called spineless, is expressed in the fly's retina.

"Spineless plays a key role in the antenna and maxillary palp, the two major olfactory organs of the fly," said Ian Duncan. "It's also important in mechanosensory bristles and in the taste receptors of the legs, wings, and mouth parts. There has been a sensory theme to the gene, and now we learn from Claude's work that it plays a key role in color vision."

The collaborators published their results in the March 9 issue of the journal Nature.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Wired for change: Gene expression study reveals first steps of evolution in gene regulation

Related Stories

Jigsaw a critical piece of the Notch puzzle

November 29, 2012

The Notch signaling pathway helps determine cell fate determination, differentiation and proliferative ability of numerous cells. How it accomplishes these tasks has been a puzzle, but researchers led by those at Baylor College ...

More schools close in US as swine flu spreads

May 2, 2009

(AP) -- Scores more schools shut down around the country because of the swine flu virus at week's end and Education Secretary Arne Duncan offered tips to teachers and students on how to deal with classroom interruptions.

Recommended for you

Innovations from the wild world of optics and photonics

August 2, 2015

Traditional computers manipulate electrons to turn our keystrokes and Google searches into meaningful actions. But as components of the computer processor shrink to only a few atoms across, those same electrons become unpredictable ...

Shedding light on millipede evolution

August 2, 2015

As an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded entomologist, Virginia Tech's Paul Marek has to spend much of his time in the field, hunting for rare and scientifically significant species. He's provided NSF with an inside ...

Better together: graphene-nanotube hybrid switches

August 2, 2015

Graphene has been called a wonder material, capable of performing great and unusual material acrobatics. Boron nitride nanotubes are no slackers in the materials realm either, and can be engineered for physical and biological ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.