Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor

Amanda J. Moehring

Abstract

Behavioural isolation is a prezygotic mechanism that is usually determined by female preference, such as seen with the rejection behaviour exhibited by Drosophila simulans females to D. melanogaster males. To confirm the role of a previously identified candidate gene fruitless (fru) in behavioural isolation, I proposed to disrupt fru expression in both D. melanogaster and D. simulans to allow for the generation of interspecies hybrids expressing only a species-specific allele of fru. A reciprocal hemizygosity test would then be used to confirm the role of fru in behavioural isolation. Disruptions of fru in both D. melanogaster and D. simulans through the CRISPR/Cas9 system were not achieved, however, a mutation was generated in the fru common region exon C4 in D. melanogaster. This mutation did not have an effect on mating behaviour, suggesting that the C4 exon in fru does not seem to have a role in female mate preference or male courtship.


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