The gene virilizer is required for female-specific splicing controlled by Sxl, the master gene for sexual development in Drosophila. Academic Article uri icon


  • The gene virilizer (vir) is needed for dosage compensation and sex determination in females and for an unknown vital function in both sexes. In genetic mosaics, XX somatic cells mutant for vir differentiate male structures. One allele, vir2f, is lethal for XX, but not for XY animals. This female-specific lethality can be rescued by constitutive expression of Sxl or by mutations in msl (male-specific lethal) genes. Rescued animals develop as strongly masculinized intersexes or pseudomales. They have male-specifically spliced mRNA of tra, and when rescued by msl, also of Sxl. Our data indicate that vir is a positive regulator of female-specific splicing of Sxl and of tra pre-mRNA.

published proceedings

  • Development

author list (cited authors)

  • Hilfiker, A., Amrein, H., Dbendorfer, A., Schneiter, R., & Nthiger, R.

citation count

  • 69

complete list of authors

  • Hilfiker, A||Amrein, H||Dübendorfer, A||Schneiter, R||Nöthiger, R

publication date

  • December 1995