Are autosomal sex-determining factors of the housefly (Musca domestica) spreading north?

Magdalena Kozielska, Barbara Feldmeyer, Ido Pen, Franz J. Weissing, Leo W. Beukeboom*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

24 Citaten (Scopus)
289 Downloads (Pure)


Multiple sex-determining factors have been found in natural populations of the housefly, Musca domestica. Their distribution seems to follow a geographical cline. The 'standard' system, with a male-determining factor, M, located on the Y chromosome, prevails at higher latitudes and altitudes. At lower latitudes and altitudes M factors have also been found on any of the five autosomes. Such populations often also harbour a dominant autosomal factor, F(D), which induces female development even in the presence of several M factors. Autosomal M factors were first observed some 50 years ago. It has been hypothesized that following their initial appearance, they are spreading northwards, replacing the standard XY system, but this has never been systematically investigated. To scrutinize this hypothesis, we here compare the current distribution of autosomal M factors in continental Europe, on a transect running from Germany to southern Italy, with the distribution reported 25 years ago. Additionally, we analysed the frequencies of the F(D) factor, which has not been done before for European populations. In contrast to earlier predictions, we do not find a clear change in the distribution of sex-determining factors: as 25 years ago, only the standard XY system is present in the north, while autosomal M factors and the F(D) factor are prevalent in Italy. We discuss possible causes for this apparently stable polymorphism.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)157 - 165
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftGenetical Research
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusPublished - apr.-2008

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