Bizarre parasite that kills male insects and disrupts insect sex lives is not all bad: it can make sterile fruit flies fertile again

Robert Sanders, Media Relations

Researchers at UC Berkely discover that the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis allows a sterile female fruit fly to lay eggs, circumventing a genetic mutation in a gene that is the key to determining the sex of offspring, reports this campus news article. The article introduces the sex-lethal gene, Sxl, and offers a discussion of sex determination in Drosophila.

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Subject: Biology, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Ecology:Symbiotic Relations, Biology:Evolution
Resource Type: Scientific Resources:Overview/Reference Work
Grade Level: General Public, College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12)