Development Genes and Evolution

, Volume 217, Issue 10, pp 725–731 | Cite as

The gene doublesex of Anastrepha fruit flies (Diptera, Tephritidae) and its evolution in insects

  • María Fernanda Ruiz
  • José María Eirín-López
  • Rominy N. Stefani
  • André L. P. Perondini
  • Denise Selivon
  • Lucas SánchezEmail author
Sequence Corner


The doublesex (dsx) gene of several Anastrepha species was isolated and characterised. Its molecular organisation was found to be the same in all the species examined. This gene is composed of four exons: Exons 1 and 2 are common to both sexes, exon 3 is female specific, and exon 4 is male specific. It codes for both the female DsxF and male DsxM proteins, corresponding to the sex-specific splicing product of its primary transcript; male-specific splicing is the default mode. A comparison of the Dsx proteins of different Anastrepha species with those of other insects showed them to be very similar. Molecular evolutionary analysis (both at the nucleotide and amino acid levels) of dsx in different insects revealed a topology in good agreement with their owners’ taxonomic relationships. The great majority of the nucleotide changes detected in the dsx gene of the analysed species were significantly synonymous, evidence that strong purifying selection has acted on dsx so that the functional structure of the Dsx proteins is preserved. However, the common region of DsxF and DsxM proteins appeared to be the main target for selection acting upon the long-term evolution of gene dsx.


Anastrepha Tephritids Fruit flies Doublesex Molecular evolution 



This work was financed by grants BMC2002-02858 and BFU2005-03000 awarded to L. Sánchez by the D.G.I.C.Y.T., by grants from a Joint Programme of the CSIC (20004BR0005 to L. Sánchez, Spain) and CNPq (690088/02-7 to A.L.P. Perondini, Brazil) and a grant to D. Selivon (FAPESP, 03/02698-3, Brazil). DS and ALPP are fellows of CNPq. J. M. Eirín-López was awarded a Postdoctoral Marie Curie International Fellowship within the 6th European Community Framework Programme.

Supplementary material

427_2007_178_MOESM1_ESM.doc (48 kb)
Table S1 Host fruits and collecting site of the Anastrepha species (DOC 48.5 kb)
427_2007_178_MOESM2_ESM.ppt (21 kb)
Fig. S1 Comparison of the Dsx predicted polypeptides of Anastrepha species. a Sequence common to both sexes; b female-specific sequence; and c male-specific sequence. The OD1 and OD2 domains are shaded in grey. Points stand for the same amino acid. obl A. obliqua; sp1 A. sp. 1 aff. fraterculus, sp.2 A. sp. 2 aff. fraterculus, sp.3 A. sp. 3 aff. fraterculus, sp.4 A. sp. 4 aff. fraterculus, grd A. grandis, ser A. serpentine, sor A. sororcula, str A. striata, bis A. bistrigata and ami A. amita (PPT 21 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • María Fernanda Ruiz
    • 1
  • José María Eirín-López
    • 2
  • Rominy N. Stefani
    • 3
  • André L. P. Perondini
    • 3
  • Denise Selivon
    • 3
  • Lucas Sánchez
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro de Investigaciones BiológicasMadridSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología Celular y MolecularUniversidade da CoruñaCoruñaSpain
  3. 3.Departamento de Genética e Biologia Evolutiva, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade de São PauloSao PauloBrazil

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