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Genetics. Apr 1995; 139(4): 1649–1661.
PMCID: PMC1206491

A Genetic Analysis of Intersex, a Gene Regulating Sexual Differentiation in Drosophila Melanogaster Females


Sex-type in Drosophila melanogaster is controlled by a hierarchically acting set of regulatory genes. At the terminus of this hierarchy lie those regulatory genes responsible for implementing sexual differentiation: genes that control the activity of target loci whose products give rise to sexually dimorphic phenotypes. The genetic analysis of the intersex (ix) gene presented here demonstrates that ix is such a terminally positioned regulatory locus. The ix locus has been localized to the cytogenetic interval between 47E3-6 and 47F11-18. A comparison of the morphological and behavioral phenotypes of homozygotes and hemizygotes for three point mutations at ix indicates that the null phenotype of ix is to transform diplo-X animals into intersexes while leaving haplo-X animals unaffected. Analysis of X-ray induced, mitotic recombination clones lacking ix(+) function in the abdomen of diplo-X individuals indicates that the ix(+) product functions in a cell-autonomous manner and that it is required at least until the termination of cell division in this tissue. Taken together with previous analyses, our results indicate that the ix(+) product is required to function with the female-specific product of doublesex to implement appropriate female sexual differentiation in diplo-X animals.

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Selected References

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