Genetic and developmental analysis of the sex-determining gene 'double sex' ( dsx) of Drosophila melanogaster

Rolf Nöthiger, Margrit Leuthold, Nils Andersen, Pia Gerschwiler, Armin Grüter, Walther Keller, Christian Leist, Maja Roost, Helen Schmid
1987 Genetics Research  
Sex determination in Drosophila depends on the ratio of X chromosomes to sets of autosomes (X:A). This chromosomal signal is used to regulate a few control genes whose state of activity selects either the male or the female sexual pathway. We have studied the structure and function of dsx (double sex) which appears to be the last regulatory gene on whose function the sexual pathway eventually depends. We have mutagenized the locus, varied the doses of dominant dsx-mutations and wildtype
more » ... and combined different dsx-alleles with recessive mutations in other sex-determining genes, such as ix, tra-2 and tra. The locus dsx harbours two genetic functions, dsxm to implement the male program, dsxf to implement the female program. We found that dsxm and dsxf can mutate independently although most mutations abolish both functions. We conclude that dsxm and dsxf each have their specific domain, but also share a large region of DNA that is essential for both functions. We present evidence that the dominant mutations correspond to a constitutive expression of the male-determining function dsxm, with the simultaneous abolishment of the female-determining function dsxf. This effect can be counteracted by two doses of expressed dsxf so that a female phenotype results. The products of one dose of expressed dsxm and one dose of expressed dsxf in the same cell appear to neutralize each other which leads to a null phenotype. The mutant combinations suggest that the product of dsxf requires the products of ix+, tra-2+ and tra+ to become functional
doi:10.1017/s001667230002351x fatcat:h5bbwu53snhwvnp2nf4oxxksr4