Biochemical Genetics

, Volume 24, Issue 7–8, pp 545–569 | Cite as

Pigment patterns in mutants affecting the biosynthesis of pteridines and xanthommatin in Drosophila melanogaster

  • Juan Ferré
  • Francisco J. Silva
  • M. Dolores Real
  • José L. Ménsua


Eye-color mutants of Drosophila melanogaster have been analyzed for their pigment content and related metabolites. Xanthommatin and dihydroxanthommatin (pigments causing brown eye color) were measured after selective extraction in acidified butanol. Pteridines (pigments causing red eye color) were quantitated after separation of 28 spots by thin-layer chromatography, most of which are pteridines and a few of which are fluorescent metabolites from the xanthommatin pathway. Pigment patterns have been studied in 45 loci. The pteridine pathway ramifies into two double branches giving rise to isoxanthopterin, “drosopterins,” and biopterin as final products. The regulatory relationship among the branches and the metabolic blockage of the mutants are discussed. The Hn locus is proposed to regulate pteridine synthesis in a step between pyruvoyltetrahydropterin and dihydropterin. The results also indicate that the synthesis and accumulation of xanthommatin in the eyes might be related to the synthesis of pteridines.

Key words

eye-color mutants pteridines xanthommatin Drosophila melanogaster pigment patterns 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan Ferré
    • 1
  • Francisco J. Silva
    • 1
  • M. Dolores Real
    • 1
  • José L. Ménsua
    • 1
  1. 1.Departmento de Genética, Facultad de Ciencias BiológicasUniversidad de ValenciaBurjasot (Valencia)Spain

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