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Cell. 1987 Feb 13;48(3):479-87.

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


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.

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