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Male sex in houseflies is determined by Mdmd, a paralog of the generic splice factor gene CWC22

Sharma, A., Heinze, S. D., Wu, Y., Kohlbrenner, T., Morilla, I., Brunner, C., Wimmer, E. A., van de Zande, L., Robinson, M. D., Beukeboom, L. W. & Bopp, D., 2017, In : Science. 356, 6338, p. 642-645 4 p.

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  • SEX DETERMINATION Male sex in houseflies is determined by Mdmd , a paralog of the generic splice factor gene CWC22

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DOI

Across species, animals have diverse sex determination pathways, each consisting of a hierarchical cascade of genes and its associated regulatory mechanism. Houseflies have a distinctive polymorphic sex determination system in which a dominant male determiner, the M-factor, can reside on any of the chromosomes. We identified a gene, Musca domesticamale determiner (Mdmd), as the M-factor. Mdmd originated from a duplication of the spliceosomal factor gene CWC22 (nucampholin). Targeted Mdmd disruption results in complete sex reversal to fertile females because of a shift from male to female expression of the downstream genes transformer and doublesex The presence of Mdmd on different chromosomes indicates that Mdmd translocated to different genomic sites. Thus, an instructive signal in sex determination can arise by duplication and neofunctionalization of an essential splicing regulator.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-645
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume356
Issue number6338
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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  • Journal Article
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