The Drosophila sex determination gene daughterless has different functions in the germ line versus the soma

Cell. 1987 Feb 13;48(3):479-87. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(87)90198-x.


As a regulator of the female-specific gene Sxl, da+ provides an essential maternal component in the control of sex determination and dosage compensation; nevertheless, neither the maternal nor zygotic phenotypes of the original mutant da allele is sex-specific. Here we clarify the role of da+ in Drosophila development, finding: this sex determination gene is indeed pleiotropic; zygotic functioning of da+ is essential in both sexes for somatic cell development, but not for germ cell development; da female sterility results from a somatic, rather than germ-line, defect; and expression of da+ in the maternal germ line is required only for daughters in the subsequent generation, as expected for a specific regulator of Sxl+. These conclusions follow from the characterization of new da null alleles isolated by a selection for defects in maternally acting positive regulators of Sxl.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Drosophila / cytology
  • Drosophila / embryology
  • Drosophila / genetics*
  • Epidermal Cells
  • Female
  • Genes*
  • Germ Cells / cytology
  • Homozygote
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Sex Determination Analysis*