α-Amanitin Tolerance in Mycophagous Drosophila

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Science  08 Jul 1983:
Vol. 221, Issue 4606, pp. 165-167
DOI: 10.1126/science.221.4606.165


Six species of Drosophila were tested for tolerance to the mushroom toxin α-amanitin, a potent inhibitor of RNA polymerase II. Three nonmycophagous species—D. melanogaster, D. immigrans, and D. pseudoobscura—showed very low survival and long development times in the presence of amanitin. Three mycophagous species—D. putrida, D. recens, and D. tripunctata—showed little or no sensitivity. Analysis in vitro indicated that this tolerance is not based on alteration of the molecular structure of RNA polymerase II.