Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New Thinking on Regulation of Sex Chromosomes in Fruit Flies

20.09.2011
Research Disputes Established Theory on Chromosome Activity

Fruit flies have been indispensible to our understanding of genetics and biological processes in all animals, including humans. Yet, despite being one of the most studied of animals, scientists are still finding the fruit fly to be capable of surprises, as evidenced by new research at the University of Rochester.

The latest revelation has to do with the activity of the X chromosome in male fruit flies. It was widely accepted that all X chromosomes in male fruit flies showed an increased level of activity. It was also believed that, in the absence of increased activity, the cell would die. But biologists at the University got some unexpected results when they studied chromosomal behavior in fruit flies.

The findings, by the lab of Associate Professor Daven Presgraves, have been published in the journal PLoS Biology.

While chromosomes in most animals come in pairs, that is not the case with all sex chromosomes. Males, typically being the ones to determine the gender of offspring, carry both the X and Y chromosomes, compared to the female, which carries two X chromosomes. Since the sex chromosomes carry genetic instructions for traits that go beyond gender determination, a process—called dosage compensation—evolved to ensure that the X chromosomes in males and females are expressed at the same level.

Dosage compensation occurs differently from one species to the next. In male fruit flies (Drosophila), the expression—or activity—of genes on most of the single X chromosomes is doubled to match the expression of the two X chromosomes in female cells. Scientists have believed that the process of dosage compensation occurs in all cells of the male fruit fly. But University biologists have discovered that is not the case with the germ (reproductive) cells in the testes.

A complex of proteins called the dosage compensation complex is responsible for upregulating gene expression in somatic (non-reproductive) cells. "That complex doesn't exist in germ cells, so it was assumed that dosage compensation occurred in those cells by some other mechanism," said lead author Colin Meiklejohn, "We showed there is no upregulation of X chromosomes in the testes of flies."

Scientists have assumed that dosage compensation is needed for any male cell to survive, said Meiklejohn. It's not clear why there are no negative effects in the male sex cells, but Meiklejohn said that's a question University researchers will look at next.

Contact: Peter Iglinski
peter.iglinski@rochester.edu
585.273.4726
About the University of Rochester
The University of Rochester (www.rochester.edu) is one of the nation's leading private universities. Located in Rochester, N.Y., the University gives students exceptional opportunities for interdisciplinary study and close collaboration with faculty through its unique cluster-based curriculum. Its College, School of Arts and Sciences, and Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences are complemented by its Eastman School of Music, Simon School of Business, Warner School of Education, Laboratory for Laser Energetics, School of Medicine and Dentistry, School of Nursing, Eastman Institute for Oral Health, and the Memorial Art Gallery.

Peter Iglinski | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.rochester.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

nachricht Foster tadpoles trigger parental instinct in poison frogs
20.09.2017 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>