In Bombyx mori, the W chromosome determines the female sex. A few W chromosome-linked mutations that cause masculinization of the female genitalia have been found. In female antennae of a recently isolated mutant, both female-type and male-type Bmdsx mRNAs were expressed, and BmOr1 (bombykol receptor) and BmOr3 (bombykal receptor), which are predominantly expressed in the antennae of male moths, were expressed about 50 times more abundantly in the antennae of mutant females than in those of normal females. These mutants are valuable resources for the molecular analysis of the sex-determination system. Besides the Fem gene, the quantitative egg size-determining gene Esd is thought to be present on the W chromosome, based on the observation that ZWW triploid moths produce larger eggs than ZZW triploids. The most recently updated B. mori genome assembly comprises 20.5 Mb of Z chromosome sequence. Using these sequence data, responsible genes or candidate genes for four Z-linked mutants have been reported. The od (distinct oily) and spli (soft and pliable) are caused by mutation in BmBLOS2 and Bmacj6, respectively. Bmap is a candidate gene for $V_g$ (vestigial). Similarly, Bmprm is a candidate gene for Md (muscle dystrophy), causing abnormal development of indirect flight muscle.
Volume 102, 2023
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