Several points of biochemical similarity between white and scarlet mutants suggest that both are defective in the transport of xanthommatin precursors. In both, accumulation of 3-hydroxykynurenine is negligible during larval life and occurs at only a slow rate during adult development. Larvae of both mutants also excrete 3H-3-hydroxykynurenine and 3H-kynurenine rapidly, which probably accounts for the normal levels of kynurenine during larval life. 3-Hydroxykynurenine levels are abnormal in all white mutants which were studied, although in two alleles which are strongly pigmented (w(sat) and w(col)) accumulation is enhanced rather than diminished. In w(a), larval accumulation is normal but accumulation during adult development is greatly diminished, suggesting that this mutation has a tissue-specific effect. Similar levels were found in zeste females. Of the 11 other eye color mutants tested, abnormal levels of 3-hydroxykynurenine were found in eight. In four of these (claret, light, lightoid, and pink), larval accumulation is negligible, suggesting that these have defects in the kynurenine transport system like scarlet and white. In three others, however (brown, karmoisin, and rosy), accumulation during larval life is enhanced. In cardinal accumulation is normal during larval life but is excessive during adult development. This evidence supports the suggestion that the cd mutation blocks the final step of xanthommatin synthesis.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 1977|