A Functional Dosage Compensation Complex Required for Male Killing in Drosophila

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Science  04 Mar 2005:
Vol. 307, Issue 5714, pp. 1461-1463
DOI: 10.1126/science.1107182

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Bacteria that selectively kill males (“male-killers”) were first characterized more than 50 years ago in Drosophila and have proved to be common in insects. However, the mechanism by which sex specificity of virulence is achieved has remained unknown. We tested the ability of Spiroplasma poulsonii to kill Drosophila melanogaster males carrying mutations in genes that encode the dosage compensation complex. The bacterium failed to kill males lacking any of the five protein components of the complex.

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