We describe a genetic locus rough deal (rod) in Drosophila melanogaster, identified by mutations that interfere with the faithful transmission of chromosomes to daughter cells during mitosis. Five mutant alleles were isolated, each associated with a similar set of mitotic abnormalities in the dividing neuroblasts of homozygous mutant larvae: high frequencies of aneuploid cells and abnormal anaphase figures, in which chromatids may lag, form bridges, or completely fail to separate. Surviving homozygous adults are sterile, and show cuticular defects associated with cell death, i.e., roughened eyes, sparse abdominal bristles, and notched wing margins. The morphological process of spermatogenesis is largely unaffected and motile sperm are produced, but meiocyte aneuploidy is common. The nature of the observed abnormalities in mitotic cells suggests that the reduced fidelity of chromosome transmission to the daughter cells is due to a failure in a mechanism involved in assuring the proper release of sister chromatids.

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