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Open Access Method

A reverse genetic screen in Drosophila using a deletion-inducing mutagen

Knud Nairz1*, Peder Zipperlen2, Charles Dearolf3, Konrad Basler2 and Ernst Hafen1

Author Affiliations

1 Zoologisches Institut, Universität Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, Zurich CH-8057, Switzerland

2 Institut für Molekularbiologie, Universität Zürich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, Zurich CH-8057, Switzerland

3 Massachusetts General Hospital, Jackson 1402, 55 Fruit St, Boston, MA 02114, USA

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Genome Biology 2004, 5:R83  doi:10.1186/gb-2004-5-10-r83

Published: 28 September 2004


We report the use of the cross-linking drug hexamethylphosphoramide (HMPA), which introduces small deletions, as a mutagen suitable for reverse genetics in the model organism Drosophila melanogaster. A compatible mutation-detection method based on resolution of PCR fragment-length polymorphisms on standard DNA sequencers is implemented. As the spectrum of HMPA-induced mutations is similar in a variety of organisms, it should be possible to transfer this mutagenesis and detection procedure to other model systems.