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

Authors
  • Steinmann-Zwicky, M
  • Nöthiger, R
Type
Published Article
Journal
The EMBO Journal
Publisher
EMBO
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1985
Volume
4
Issue
1
Pages
163–166
Identifiers
PMID: 16453598
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

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.

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