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The use of mutations for the partial degradation of vision in Drosophila melanogaster


Götz,  KG
Neurophysiologie des Insektenverhaltens, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Heisenberg, M., & Götz, K. (1975). The use of mutations for the partial degradation of vision in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Comparative Physiology, 98(3), 217-241. doi:10.1007/BF00656971.

Partially blind mutants can be used to investigate the processing of visual information in the fruit flyDrosophila. This approach requires (1) procedures for the selection of a variety of partially blind mutants, and (2) a strategy for the identification and coordination of visual malfunctions by comparison of interrelated traits of behaviour. The two selection techniques so far employed to recover partially blind mutants use either the fast phototaxis or the optomotor response as selection determining behaviour. The second method is described here and is applied specifically to select mutants in which one of the two autonomous subsystems of vision designated asHigh Sensitivity System andHigh Acuity System is defective. (The mutants obtained are apparently normal with respect to their HAS whereas the HSS is blocked.) Two sets of experiments have been developed in order to test interrelated traits of behaviour in a comparatively large number of flies. One set of experiments measuresslow phototaxis as a function of light intensity. The other is to determine the optomotor response to moving patterns of different spatial periods as functions of both the average brightness and the speed of the movement. Further techniques such as electroretinography and optical inspection of the eyes are used to complement the behavioural approach. By combination of the different tests a first step has been made in the characterization and classification of partially blind mutants with neuronal disorders obtained by different selection procedures and in different laboratories.