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Y chromosome effects on gene expression along Drosophila's spermatogenesis

Grant number: 19/04376-1
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2019
Effective date (End): September 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics
Principal Investigator:Maria Dulcetti Vibranovski
Grantee:Carolina de Athayde Mendonça
Supervisor abroad: Bernardo Lemos Ferreira da Silva
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Harvard University, Cambridge, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:17/14923-4 - A study on the functions of new Y-linked genes through expression analysis of Drosophila's spermatogenesis, BP.MS


Drosophila's Y chromosome is mainly heterochromatic and poor in gene content. The paucity of Y-linked genes does not mean that it is irrelevant for proper male development since it is essential for male fertility. To gain further understanding on their functions, we have been working with differential expression analysis along spermatogenesis of Y-linked genes. RNAseq and cytogenetic data suggest that the genomic context is important on driving the evolution of gene expression along spermatogenesis. It has already been evidenced that the Y chromosome has trans-acting effects on autosomal and X-linked genes. Lines introgressed with either a conspecific Y chromosome (Drosophila simulans) or a heterospecific Y (Drosophila sechellia) showed significant differences in male reproductive fitness. Comparisons of gene expression patterns between the two lines revealed that there is an overrepresentation of male-biased and testes-specific genes on the down-regulated genes in the males with heterospecific Y chromosomes. Studying the differential expression of genes along spermatogenesis can shed light on the epistatic and epigenetic effects of the Y on the other chromosomes. In a broader view, the present work aims at investigating the effects of the Y chromosome on the expression of testes-biased genes by analyzing differential expression along spermatogenesis (mitosis, meiosis and post-meiosis) of Y chromosome introgression lines. More specifically, it will contribute to the understanding of the Y genomic context on driving the expression of Y-linked genes.