April 21, 2020  |  

Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY) orchestrates male sex determination in major agricultural fruit fly pests.

Authors: Meccariello, Angela and Salvemini, Marco and Primo, Pasquale and Hall, Brantley and Koskinioti, Panagiota and Dalíková, Martina and Gravina, Andrea and Gucciardino, Michela Anna and Forlenza, Federica and Gregoriou, Maria-Eleni and Ippolito, Domenica and Monti, Simona Maria and Petrella, Valeria and Perrotta, Maryanna Martina and Schmeing, Stephan and Ruggiero, Alessia and Scolari, Francesca and Giordano, Ennio and Tsoumani, Konstantina T and Marec, František and Windbichler, Nikolai and Arunkumar, Kallare P and Bourtzis, Kostas and Mathiopoulos, Kostas D and Ragoussis, Jiannis and Vitagliano, Luigi and Tu, Zhijian and Papathanos, Philippos Aris and Robinson, Mark D and Saccone, Giuseppe

In insects, rapidly evolving primary sex-determining signals are transduced by a conserved regulatory module controlling sexual differentiation. In the agricultural pest Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly, or Medfly), we identified a Y-linked gene, Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY), encoding a small protein that is necessary and sufficient for male development. Silencing or disruption of MoY in XY embryos causes feminization, whereas overexpression of MoY in XX embryos induces masculinization. Crosses between transformed XY females and XX males give rise to males and females, indicating that a Y chromosome can be transmitted by XY females. MoY is Y-linked and functionally conserved in other species of the Tephritidae family, highlighting its potential to serve as a tool for developing more effective control strategies against these major agricultural insect pests.Copyright © 2019 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

Journal: Science
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax1318
Year: 2019

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