Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Transcribed sex-specific markers on the Y chromosome of the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis.

Abstract

Background: The Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis, is a highly polyphagous invasive species with a high reproductive potential. In many tropical and subtropical parts of the world it ranks as one of the major pests of fruits and vegetables. Due to its economic importance, genetic, cytogenetic, genomic and biotechnological approaches have been applied to understand its biology and to implement the Sterile Insect Technique, currently a part of area-wide control programmes against this fly. Its chromosome complement includes five pairs of autosomes and the sex chromosomes. The X and Y sex chromosomes are heteromorphic and the highly heterochromatic and degenerate Y harbours the male factor BdMoY. The characterization of the Y chromosome in this fly apart from elucidating its role as primary sex determination system, it is also of crucial importance to understand its role in male biology. The repetitive nature of the Y chromosome makes it challenging to sequence and characterise. Results: Using Representational Difference Analysis, fluorescent in situ hybridisation on mitotic chromosomes and in silico genome resources, we show that the B. dorsalis Y chromosome harbours transcribed sequences of gyf, (typo-gyf) a homologue of the Drosophila melanogaster Gigyf gene, and of a non-LTR retrotransposon R1. Similar sequences are also transcribed on the X chromosome. Paralogues of the Gigyf gene are also present on the Y and X chromosomes of the related species B. tryoni. Another identified Y-specific repetitive sequence linked to BdMoY appears to be specific to B. dorsalis. Conclusions: Our random scan of the Y chromosome provides a broad picture of its general composition and represents a starting point for further applicative and evolutionary studies. The identified repetitive sequences can provide a useful Y-marking system for molecular karyotyping of single embryos. Having a robust diagnostic marker associated with BdMoY will facilitate studies on how BdMoY regulates the male sex determination cascade during the embryonic sex-determination window. The Y chromosome, despite its high degeneracy and heterochromatic nature, harbours transcribed sequences of typo-gyf that may maintain their important function in post-transcriptional mRNA regulation. That transcribed paralogous copies of Gigyf are present also on the X and that this genomic distribution is maintained also in B. tryoni raises questions on the evolution of sex chromosomes in Bactrocera and other tephritids.