Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Moehring, Amanda J.


During courtship, it is vital for organisms to recognize conspecifics because of the costs associated with forming interspecies hybrids. Many organisms use species-specific cues to recognize potential mates. These cues are perceived and evaluated via neural pathways. The genetic basis of how species-specific cues are evaluated and processed into receptive or rejection behaviour remains almost entirely unknown. The gene Katanin 60 (Kat60) has previously been identified as contributing to interspecific mate rejection between Drosophila melanogaster and D. simulans. I use the CRISPR/Cas9 system and RNA interference (RNAi) to confirm if Kat60 influences female receptivity between D. melanogaster and D. simulans and to identify which tissues affect it. I have created 16 RNAi stocks that silence transcripts of one species’ allele, and one CRISPR stock that disrupts the D. melanogaster Kat60 sequence. These stocks can be used in future reciprocal hemizygosity experiments to determine if Kat60 affects interspecific mate rejection.