, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 217–227 | Cite as

The link between dosage compensation and sex differentiation in Drosophila melanogaster

  • John C. Lucchesi
  • Thomas Skripsky


The rate of 3H-uridine incorporation into X-chromosome and autosomal RNA was measured as an indicator of relative transcription activity in larvae carrying various Sxl mutant alleles. Hyperactivity of X chromosomes was found in heteroallelic Sxlf#1/Sxlfhv#1 and homozygous Sxlf#2 female larvae. Sxlfhv#1 homozygotes, Sxlf#1/Sxl+ heterozygotes, heteroallelic Sxlf#2/Sxlf#2 as well as homozygous Sxlf#ba female larvae exhibited normal X chromosome transcription. Except for Sxlf#ba, there is a correlation between the viability of the mutants and the degree to which X-chromosome activity is elevated. Male larvae carrying the dominant male-specific lethal mutation SxlM#1 displayed X chromosomes only half as wide as those of control larvae. However, it could not be determined whether this property is the result of a lower transcription rate or of underreplication of the mutated X chromosomes. The results demonstrate that the Sxl gene plays an important role in controlling X-chromosome activity. The relationship among the various genes known to act in sex differentiation and dosage compensation is discussed.


Developmental Biology Mutant Allele Transcription Activity Dosage Compensation Transcription Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Lucchesi
    • 1
  • Thomas Skripsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Genetics CurriculumThe University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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