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We describe a new approach for identifying and studying genes involved in Drosophila development. Single copies of an enhancer detector transposon, P[1ArB], have been introduced into flies at many different genomic locations. The beta-galactosidase reporter gene in this construct is influenced by a wide range of genomic transcriptional regulatory elements in its vicinity. Our results suggest that a significant proportion of these regulatory sequences are control elements of nearby Drosophila genes. These genes need not be disrupted for their regulatory elements to be identified by P[1ArB]. The P[1ArB] transposon has been designed to facilitate both rapid cloning and deletion analysis of genomic sequences into which it inserts. Therefore, the enhancer detection system is an efficient method of screening for genes primarily on the basis of their expression pattern and then rapidly analyzing those of particular interest at the molecular and genetic levels.

Original publication




Journal article


Genes Dev

Publication Date





1301 - 1313


Animals, DNA Transposable Elements, Drosophila melanogaster, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Embryonic and Fetal Development, Gene Expression Regulation, Genetic Vectors, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid, beta-Galactosidase