Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Amanda Moehring


Individuals within many species have evolved complex reproductive strategies to ensure they identify appropriate mates so as to increase their fitness. Chemical signals, which are often species- and sex-specific, are one means by which many insect species communicate. Differences in cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) profiles can influence reproductive isolation in Drosophila. A previous study identified large genomic regions that contain genes responsible for the different CHC profiles observed in D. melanogaster and D. simulans females. I refined these earlier results by utilizing fine-scale mapping, focusing on the entire CHC profile, in an effort to determine which genes are responsible for the different CHC profiles of this species pair. Five genomic regions along Chromosome 3 were identified as well as a candidate gene, Dhc93AB. Determining the molecular mechanisms governing the differential CHC profiles in these two species could provide insight into the genes responsible for CHC formation as well as reproductive isolation.

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