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A study on the functions of new Y-linked genes through expression analysis of Drosophila's spermatogenesis

Grant number: 17/14923-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Maria Dulcetti Vibranovski
Grantee:Carolina de Athayde Mendonça
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:15/20844-4 - The role of gametogenesis on the origin and evolution of new genes, AP.JP
Associated scholarship(s):19/04376-1 - Y chromosome effects on gene expression along Drosophila's spermatogenesis, BE.EP.MS


Despite the sequencing of Drosophila melanogaster genome, little is known about Y-linked genes. However, it is well established that some of them are essential for male fertility given that X0 males are viable but infertile. So far, six fertility regions and twelve genes have been identified in the Y chromosome. For most of them, function remains a mystery as they have been inferred based on domains' similarities. Unlike mammals, Drosophila's Y-linked genes were originated from gene duplications from autosomes. The expression comparison between Y-linked genes from D. melanogaster and an autosomal ortholog from a closely related species can reveal important consequences of these different genomic contexts. The present work aims at: (1) determining the expression pattern of the Y-linked genes kl-5, PRY, CCY, WDY and JY± of D. melanogaster along spermatogenesis; (2) contribute to the elucidation of their functions based on their expression patterns and; (3) compare the expression patterns of the Y-linked genes in D. melanogaster to the expression of their orthologs in D. mojavensis and D. willistoni. In a broader context, it is expected that it will contribute to the comprehension of the evolution of new genes as they are usually biased expressed in the testes.