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Date Permissions Signed

5-16-2008

Date of Award

2008

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Trent, Carol, 1952-

Second Advisor

Leaf, David Scott, 1955-

Third Advisor

Schulze, Sandra R.

Abstract

Sexual dimorphism is the result of a cascade of genes that triggers sex-specific development. The cascade begins with a primary signal that affects a hierarchy of genes and, through their selective activation and repression, results in the development of an individual of a particular sex. The genes in this regulatory hierarchy are very divergent, with little conservation across taxa. However, homologs of doublesex, a master regulator in the sexdetermining cascade of Drosophila melanogaster, have been found in organisms ranging from nematodes to humans. These homologs are identified by the DM domain, a DNAbinding motif found in genes that function as transcription factors. The DM domain defines an entire family of genes, of which only a select few play a role in sex determination. Here I describe a family of four DM-containing genes in the parasitoid wasp Nasonia vitripennis. Using molecular and computational techniques, I completed the sequence of two previously discovered members of this family and identified two new genes that contain the DM domain. One of these new genes, NvDM4, shows sex-specific expression reminiscent of the doublesex gene, suggesting that it is part of the sex-determination cascade in N. vitripennis.

Type

Text

Publisher

Western Washington University

OCLC Number

244943826

Digital Format

application/pdf

Genre/Form

Academic theses

Language

English

Rights

Copying of this thesis in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this thesis for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Included in

Biology Commons

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