Reduction of germ cells in the Odysseus null mutant causes male fertility defect in Drosophila melanogaster. Academic Article uri icon


  • Odysseus (OdsH) has been identified as a hybrid male sterility gene between Drosophila mauritiana and D. simulans with accelerated evolutionary rate in both expression and DNA sequence. Loss of a testis-specific expression of OdsH causes male fertility defect in D. melanogaster. Yet, the underlying mechanisms at the cellular level are unknown. In an attempt to identify the possible mechanisms and functional roles of OdsH in spermatogenesis, the cell numbers at different developmental stages during spermatogenesis between the OdsH null mutant and wild-type flies were compared. The results showed that the early developing germ cells, including spermatogonia and spermatocytes, were reduced in the OdsH mutant males. In addition, the number of germline stem cells in aged males was also reduced, presumably due to the disruption of germline stem cell maintenance, which resulted in more severe fertility defect. These results suggest that the function of the enhancement of sperm production by OdsH acted across males of all ages.

publication date

  • 2012