Run, J Q; Steven, R; Hung, M S; van Weeghel, R; Culotti, J G; Way, J C
The unc-73 gene of Caenorhabditis elegans is necessary for proper axon guidance. Animals mutant in this gene are severely uncoordinated and also exhibit defects in cell migration and cell lineages. We have isolated coordinated revertants of unc-73 (e936). These fall into three classes: intragenic revertants, extragenic dominant suppressors (sup-39), and a single apparently intragenic mutation that is a dominant suppressor with a linked recessive lethal phenotype. sup-39 mutations cause early embryonic lethality, but escapers have a wild-type movement phenotype as larvae and adults. Gonads of sup-39 mutant animals show a novel defect: normal gonads have a single row of oocytes, but sup-39 gonads often have two rows of oocytes. This result suggests that the mutant gonad is defective in choosing on its surface only a single site form which nuclei will emerge to form oocytes. These results are interpreted in terms of an effect of unc-73 on determination of cell polarity.