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Science. 2019 Sep 27;365(6460):1457-1460. doi: 10.1126/science.aax1318. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY) orchestrates male sex determination in major agricultural fruit fly pests.

Author information

1
Department of Biology, University of Naples "Federico II," 80126 Napoli, Italy.
2
Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.
3
Insect Pest Control Laboratory, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, A-1400 Vienna, Austria.
4
Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly, 41500 Larissa, Greece.
5
Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic.
6
Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, 370 05 České Budějovice, Czech Republic.
7
Institute of Biostructures and Bioimaging (IBB), CNR, 80134 Naples, Italy.
8
Institute of Molecular Life Sciences and SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
9
Department of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy.
10
Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK.
11
Centre of Excellence for Genetics and Genomics of Silkmoths, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, Hyderabad 500 039, India.
12
Department of Human Genetics and Bioengineering, McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, Montreal, QC H3A 0G1, Canada.
13
Section of Genomics and Genetics, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Perugia, 06132 Perugia, Italy. giuseppe.saccone@unina.it mark.robinson@imls.uzh.ch p.papathanos@mail.huji.ac.il.
14
Department of Entomology, The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
15
Institute of Molecular Life Sciences and SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland. giuseppe.saccone@unina.it mark.robinson@imls.uzh.ch p.papathanos@mail.huji.ac.il.
16
Department of Biology, University of Naples "Federico II," 80126 Napoli, Italy. giuseppe.saccone@unina.it mark.robinson@imls.uzh.ch p.papathanos@mail.huji.ac.il.
#
Contributed equally

Abstract

In insects, rapidly evolving primary sex-determining signals are transduced by a conserved regulatory module controlling sexual differentiation. In the agricultural pest Ceratitis capitata (Mediterranean fruit fly, or Medfly), we identified a Y-linked gene, Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY), encoding a small protein that is necessary and sufficient for male development. Silencing or disruption of MoY in XY embryos causes feminization, whereas overexpression of MoY in XX embryos induces masculinization. Crosses between transformed XY females and XX males give rise to males and females, indicating that a Y chromosome can be transmitted by XY females. MoY is Y-linked and functionally conserved in other species of the Tephritidae family, highlighting its potential to serve as a tool for developing more effective control strategies against these major agricultural insect pests.

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PMID:
31467189
DOI:
10.1126/science.aax1318

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