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The hierarchical relation between X-chromosomes and autosomal sex determining genes in Drosophila.


Steinmann-Zwicky, M; Nöthiger, R (1985). The hierarchical relation between X-chromosomes and autosomal sex determining genes in Drosophila. The EMBO Journal, 4(1):163-166.

Abstract

The classical balance concept of sex determination in Drosophila states that the X-chromosome carries dispersed female-determining factors. Besides, a number of autosomal genes are known that, when mutant, transform chromosomal females (XX) into pseudomales (tra), or intersexes (ix, dsx, dsx). To test whether large duplications of the X-chromosome have a feminizing effect on the sexual phenotype of these mutants, we constructed flies that were mutant for ix, dsx, dsx or tra and had two X-chromosomes plus either a distal or a proximal half of an X-chromosome. These or even smaller X-chromosomal fragments had a strong feminizing effect when added to triploid intersexes (XX; AAA). In the mutants, however, no shift towards femaleness was apparent. We conclude that enhancing the female determining signal is ineffective in flies that are mutant for an autosomal sex determining gene, and therefore, that these genes are under hierarchical control of the signal given by the X:A ratio. Parallels between sex-determining and homeotic genes are drawn.

The classical balance concept of sex determination in Drosophila states that the X-chromosome carries dispersed female-determining factors. Besides, a number of autosomal genes are known that, when mutant, transform chromosomal females (XX) into pseudomales (tra), or intersexes (ix, dsx, dsx). To test whether large duplications of the X-chromosome have a feminizing effect on the sexual phenotype of these mutants, we constructed flies that were mutant for ix, dsx, dsx or tra and had two X-chromosomes plus either a distal or a proximal half of an X-chromosome. These or even smaller X-chromosomal fragments had a strong feminizing effect when added to triploid intersexes (XX; AAA). In the mutants, however, no shift towards femaleness was apparent. We conclude that enhancing the female determining signal is ineffective in flies that are mutant for an autosomal sex determining gene, and therefore, that these genes are under hierarchical control of the signal given by the X:A ratio. Parallels between sex-determining and homeotic genes are drawn.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:1 January 1985
Deposited On:11 Feb 2008 12:15
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:14
Publisher:European Molecular Biology Organization ; Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0261-4189
Related URLs:http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=16453598
PubMed ID:16453598
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-516

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