Sex determination cascade in insects terminates with the production of sex-specific protein, Doublesex (Dsx). We identified the dsx homolog (Tcdsx) in Tribolium castaneum. The pre-mRNA of Tcdsx is sex-specifically spliced into three female (Tcdsxf1, Tcdsxf2 and Tcdsxf3) and one male-specific (Tcdsxm) isoforms. Cis-regulatory elements potentially involved in sex-specific splicing of the Tcdsx pre-mRNA were identified in the female-specific exon and the adjoining intronic sequences. All the three female-specific TcDsx proteins share common OD1 and OD2 domains and differ in their C-terminal sequences. Knockdown of Tcdsx resulted in a reduction in the oocyte development, egg production and hatching of eggs laid. Several genes, including those coding for Vitellogenins and Vitellogenin receptors were identified as targets of TcDsx. RNAi experiments showed an isoform-specific targeting of identified target genes by TcDsx as knockdown in the expression of Tcdsx isoforms individually or in combinations resulted in differential effects on the expression of target genes.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Shukla, Jayendra Nath and Palli, Subba Reddy, "Doublesex Target Genes in the Red Flour Beetle, Tribolium castaneum" (2012). Entomology Faculty Publications. 5.