A genomic analysis of Drosophila somatic sexual differentiation and its regulation

Michelle N. Arbeitman, Alice A. Fleming, Mark L. Siegal, Brian H. Null, Bruce S. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In virtually all animals, males and females are morphologically, physiologically and behaviorally distinct. Using cDNA microarrays representing one-third of Drosophila genes to identify genes expressed sex-differentially in somatic tissues, we performed an expression analysis on adult males and females that: (1) were wild type; (2) lacked a germline; or (3) were mutant for sex-determination regulatory genes. Statistical analysis identified 63 genes sex-differentially expressed in the soma, 20 of which have been confirmed by RNA blots thus far. In situ hybridization experiments with 11 of these genes showed they were sex-differentially expressed only in internal genital organs. The nature of the products these genes encode provides insight into the molecular physiology of these reproductive tissues. Analysis of the regulation of these genes revealed that their adult expression patterns are specified by the sex hierarchy during development, and that doublesex probably functions in diverse ways to set their activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2007-2021
Number of pages15
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2004


  • Drosophila
  • Microarray
  • Reproduction
  • Sex determination
  • Somatic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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