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Citation
Gailey, D.A., Billeter, J.C., Liu, J.H., Bauzon, F., Allendorfer, J.B., Goodwin, S.F. (2006). Functional conservation of the fruitless male sex-determination gene across 250 Myr of insect evolution.  Mol. Biol. Evol. 23(3): 633--643.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0191171
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Male sexual behavior in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster is regulated by fruitless (fru), a sex-determination gene specifying the synthesis of BTB-Zn finger proteins that likely function as male-specific transcriptional regulators. Expression of fru in the nervous system specifies male sexual behavior and the muscle of Lawrence (MOL), an abdominal muscle that develops in males but not in females. We have isolated the fru ortholog from the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae and show the gene's conserved genomic structure. We demonstrate that male-specific mosquito fru protein isoforms arise by conserved mechanisms of sex-specifically activated and alternative exon splicing. A male-determining function of mosquito fru is revealed by ectopic expression of the male mosquito isoform FRUMC in fruit flies; this results in MOL development in both fru-mutant males and fru+ females who otherwise develop no MOL. In parallel, we provide evidence of a unique feature of muscle differentiation within the fifth abdominal segment of male mosquitoes that strongly resembles the fruit fly MOL. Given these conserved features within the context of 250 Myr of evolutionary divergence between Drosophila and Anopheles, we hypothesize that fru is the prototypic gene of male sexual behavior among dipteran insects.

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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Mol. Biol. Evol.
    Title
    Molecular Biology and Evolution
    Publication Year
    1983-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0737-4038 1537-1719
    Data From Reference
    Alleles (6)
    Genes (5)
    Natural transposons (1)
    Experimental Tools (2)
    Transgenic Constructs (5)