The work aims to generate a complete collection of Drosophila genes that are involved in retinal degeneration.
In specific aim 1, protocols will be established to select new mutations causing retinal degeneration. A genetic background permitting mutants to have dominant phenotypes will be used to simplify the process of identifying new mutants.
Specific aim 2 will apply these protocols to saturate the genome for mutations that cause retinal degeneration, and then use genetic and molecular tools to map the mutations.
Specific aim 3 is the molecular characterization of the encoded genes identified in this screen.
Specific aim 4 is directed at defining the mechanisms by which these mutants show retinal degeneration, using a combination of genetic, cell biological, and molecular techniques. Finally the last specific aim involves efforts to use the identified Drosophila genes to isolate corresponding human homologs, and test the ability of the human genes to function in Drosophila.