Drosophila fly article dating before 1950
The R cell projections in Dreadlock gene mutants become disorganised and clump together, like dreadlocks.
An endosymbiotic bacterium, Spiroplasma, specifically kills the males of its fruit-fly host (Drosophila).
As such, we expect that it will have a big impact on the fields of symbiosis, sex determination and evolution." Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.
"Mystery solved: The bacterial protein that kills male fruit flies." Science Daily. Biologists have discovered surprisingly that the complex odor-detecting machinery of the fruit fly Drosophila is heavily influenced by one specific odor receptor. A team of scientists has shown how a common m RNA modification, N6-methyladenosine (m6A), regulates gene expression to determine the sex of fruit flies.
At first, scientists thought that what lay behind this was a genetic mutation, but it was later discovered that the cause was a hidden bacterium, Spiroplasma is an endosymbiotic bacterium that lives in the fruit fly's blood and is passed on to it offspring through the female's oocytes.
This bacterium remains largely hidden from its host but induces a fascinating reproductive manipulation: the specific killing of male embryos.
The original idea was that Spiroplasma produces an "androcidin" toxin, which kills males.
as “the poster child for genetics” because of the ease at which they can be manipulated and the spped at which effects can be observed.
These sticky insect are obviously very different to humans, but studying them is stil beneficial as they carry many genes which are orthologs to the genes in vertebrates.
The existence of male-killer bacteria appear at first sight puzzling, but studies have shown that it promotes the long-term persistence of the symbiotic bacteria by increasing the frequency of infected females who then transmit the bacteria to their offspring.
Male-killing is not restricted to Spiroplasma but is also observed in several other endosymbiotic bacteria.