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Genet Res. 1992 Feb;59(1):11-8.

Expression of cis-regulatory mutations of the white locus in metafemales of Drosophila melanogaster.

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Biological Laboratories, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.


At the white eye colour locus, there are a number of alleles that have altered expression between males and females. To test these regulatory mutations of the white eye colour locus for their phenotypic expression in metafemales (3X; 2A) compared to diploid females and males, eleven alleles or transduced copies of white were analysed. Two alleles that exhibit dosage compensation between males and females (apricot, blood) also exhibit dosage compensation in metafemales. White-ivory and white-eosin, which fail to dosage compensate in males compared to females, but that are distinct physical lesions, also show a dosage effect in metafemales. Two alleles with greater expression in males than females (spotted, spotted-55) exhibit even lower expression in metafemales. Lastly, five transduced copies of white carrying three different lengths of the white promoter, but that all exhibit higher expression in males, show reduced expression in metafemales, exhibiting an inverse correlation between the level of expression and the dosage of the X chromosome. Because these alleles of white respond to dosage compensation in metafemales as a continuum of the male and female responses, it is concluded that the same basic mechanism of dosage compensation is involved and that the dosage of the X chromosome conditions the sexually dimorphic expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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