More mog genes that influence the switch from spermatogenesis to oogenesis in the hermaphrodite germ line of Caenorhabditis elegans

Patricia L. Graham, Tim Schedl, Judith Kimble

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Caenorhobditis elegans XX animal possesses a hermaphrodite germ line, producing first sperm, then oocytes. In this paper, we report the genetic identification of five genes, mog‐2, mog‐3, mog‐4, mog‐5, and mog‐6, that influence the hermaphrodite switch from sper‐matogenesis to oogenesis. In mcg‐2‐mog‐6 mutants, spermatogenesis continues past the time at which hermaphrodites normally switch into oogenesis and no oocytes are observed. Therefore, in these mutants, germ cells are transformed from a female fate (oocyte) to a male fate (sperm). The fem‐3 gene is one of five genes that acts at the end of the germline sex determination pathway to direct spermatogenesis. Analyses of mog;fem‐3 double mutants suggest that the mog‐2‐mog‐6 genes act before fem‐3; thus these genes may be in a position to negatively regulate fem‐3 or one of the other terminal regulators of germline sex determination. Double mutants of fem‐3 and any one of the mog mutations make oocytes. Using these double mutants, we show that oocytes from any mog;fem‐3 double mutant are defective in their ability to support embryogenesis. This maternal effect lethality indicates that each of the mog genes is required for embryogenesis. The two defects in mog‐2‐mog‐6 mutants are similar to those of mog‐1: all six mog genes eliminate the sperm/oocyte switch in hermaphrodites and cause maternal effect lethality. We propose that the mog‐2‐mog‐6 mutations identify genes that act with mog‐1 to effect the sperm/oocyte switch. We further speculate that the mog‐1‐mog‐6 mutations all interfere with translational controls of fem‐3 and other maternal mRNAs. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-484
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Genetics
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Keywords

  • C. elegans
  • Sex determination
  • germ line
  • mog genes
  • translational control

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