Freeze-drying procedures were developed to enable collection of tissues from Drosophila flies. The flies were frozen in acetone at -86 or -94 degrees C, and dehydrated therein. After drying, many tissues could be easily taken in entirety and free of neighbouring tissues without action of degradative enzymes. Seven polypeptide species specific to retina, and nine specific to cornea, were identified on two-dimensional electrophoretograms. Phospholipids of the dried tissues could be studied by t.l.c., and phosphatidic acid of the fly head was found to occur predominantly in the retina. Activity of three enzymes in the dried tissues could be assayed. The results of protein, phospholipid and enzyme analyses were corroborated by analyses by ‘genetic dissection’ using an eyeless mutant line.

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