, Volume 16, Issue 5-6, pp 509-523

Genetic control of alcohol dehydrogenase levels in Drosophila

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Abstract

Among the progeny of Drosophila flies heterozygous for two noncomplementing Adh-negative alleles, two individuals were found that had recovered appreciable alcohol dehydrogenase activity, thereby surviving the ethanol medium used as a screen. The most likely explanation is that these Adh-positive flies are the product of intracistronic recombination within the Adh locus. Judging by the distribution of outside markers, one of the crossovers would have been a conventional reciprocal exchange while the other appears to have been an instance of nonreciprocal recombination. The enzymes produced in strains derived from the original survivors can be easily distinguished from wild-type enzymes ADH-S and ADH-F on the basis of their sensitivity to denaturing agents. None of various physical and catalytic properties tested revealed differences between the enzymes of the survivor strains except that in one of them the level of activity is 55–65% of the other. Quantitative immunological determinations of ADH gave estimates of enzyme protein which are proportional to the measured activity levels. These results are interpreted to indicate that different amounts of ADH protein are being accumulated in the two strains.

This work was supported in part by NSF Grant PCM 76-19563.