NIH Research Festival
FARE Award Winner
Germline sex determination requires non-autonomous signals from the soma that are regulated by Doublesex (DSX), a conserved transcription factor that controls sex determination in many species. These signals may be produced in the somatic cells in the female germline niche. To characterize transcription in the niche, we performed 12 biological replicate experiments on the anterior and compared expression to whole ovary. We found 1262 genes with anterior ovariole biased expression and asked which were occupied by DSX in DamID-seq experiments on ovaries. Remarkably, 58% of genes with anterior ovariole biased expression are occupied by DSX (Fisher’s Exact Test, p < 2.2x10-16). We performed loss-of-function study using RNAi-mediated knockdown of 38 such genes in a subset of somatic niche cells with traffic-jam gal4 and found three genes broad, misshapen and skuld that are specifically required for female but not male gonad development.
Scientific Focus Area: Developmental Biology
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