Professor - Emeritus
Spring Hill College, B.S. Biology, 1958;
Johns Hopkins University, Ph.D. Biology, 1962
My laboratory is investigating the genetic control of key developmental events, using Drosophila melanogaster as our organism. Our approach has been to identify genetically as many of the components of the process as possible, attempt to order these elements through genetic interactions, and then move to a molecular analysis of the central genes in the process. Since becoming Emeritus, I have concentrated on a set of mutations that affect the mitochondrial derivative during spermiogenesis. In wild-type flies all the mitochondria in each spermatid fuse into two mitochondria which interweave with each other in the Nebenkern. During growth of the axoneme the two mitochondria unwind from each other and extend along the growing axoneme. Mutations which interfere with either the fusion process or the extension process are sterile. Efforts are in progress to identify the molecular processes involved in more than 25 different mutations affecting these events.