Two eye-colour mutant strains, white (W) and yellow (Y) of house cricket Acheta domesticus were established in our laboratory. We phenotyped and genotyped the mutants, performed genetic crossings and studied the eye structure and pigment composition using light and electron microscopy and biochemical analysis. We show that W and Y phenotypes are controlled by a single autosomal recessive allele, as both traits are metabolically independent. The analysis of the mutants'eye structure showed a reduced number of dark pigment granules while simultaneously, and an increased amount of light vacuoles in white eye mutants was observed. Significant differences in eye pigment composition between strains were also found. The Y mutant had a lower number of ommochromes, while the W mutant had a lower number of ommochromes and pteridines. This indicates that mutated genes are involved in two different, independent metabolic pathways regulating tryptophan metabolism enzymes, pigment transporter granules or pigment granule formation.
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