Katedra molekulární biologie a genetiky
Department of molecular biology and genetics

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

An international team, including Martina Dalíková and František Marec from the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice and the Biology Center of the ASCR, has identified the Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY) gene at the chromosome Y in the Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata). The study was published in Science! Congratulations!!!

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, Medfly) the team 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.

Meccariello, A., Salvemini, M., Primo, P., Hall, B., Koskinioti, P., Dalíková, M., Gravina, A., Gucciardino, M. A., Forlenza, F., Gregoriou, M. E., Ippolito, D., Monti, S. M., Petrella, V., Perrotta, M. M., Schmeing, S., Ruggiero, A., Scolari, F., Giordano, E., Tsoumani, K. T., Marec, F., Windbichler, N., Arunkumar, K. P., Bourtzis, K., Mathiopoulos, K. D., Ragoussis, J., Vitagliano, L., Tu, Z., Papathanos, P. A., Robinson, M. D., Saccone, G. 2019. Maleness-on-the-Y (MoY) orchestrates male sex determination in major agricultural fruit fly pests. Science online 28. 8. 2019.