The Triplo-lethal locus (Tpl) of Drosophila is both triplo-lethal and haploinsufficient, but the function of the locus is unknown. We have examined Tpl-aneuploid embryos and find that, in both trisomics and monosomics, the midgut shows extensive cell death and the tracheae are abnormal. Shortly thereafter, all tissues die. PCR-based genotyping of individual embryos and larvae show that this phenotype occurs in the trisomics after hatching and in the monosomics before hatching. Weak alleles of the interacting gene Su(Tpl) delay the death of Tpl trisomics, but they still show the same tracheal and midgut phenotypes before dying. Hyperoxia (45% oxygen) partially suppresses the phenotype of Tpl aneuploids, even though the use of a hypoxia reporter strain shows that dying Tpl aneuploids are not hypoxic. This is the first report of a phenotype associated with the Tpl locus and the first report of an environmental condition that suppresses the phenotype.
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