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Development. 2004 Jan;131(2):311-23. Epub 2003 Dec 10.

Genome-wide germline-enriched and sex-biased expression profiles in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. valerie.reinke@yale.edu


We performed a genome-wide analysis of gene expression in C. elegans to identify germline- and sex-regulated genes. Using mutants that cause defects in germ cell proliferation or gametogenesis, we identified sets of genes with germline-enriched expression in either hermaphrodites or males, or in both sexes. Additionally, we compared gene expression profiles between males and hermaphrodites lacking germline tissue to define genes with sex-biased expression in terminally differentiated somatic tissues. Cross-referencing hermaphrodite germline and somatic gene sets with in situ hybridization data demonstrates that the vast majority of these genes have appropriate spatial expression patterns. Additionally, we examined gene expression at multiple times during wild-type germline development to define temporal expression profiles for these genes. Sex- and germline-regulated genes have a non-random distribution in the genome, with especially strong biases for and against the X chromosome. Comparison with data from large-scale RNAi screens demonstrates that genes expressed in the oogenic germline display visible phenotypes more frequently than expected.

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