Catello L. Polito

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The medfly Ceratitis capitata contains a gene (Cctra) with structural and functional homology to the Drosophila melanogaster sex-determining gene transformer (tra). Similar to tra in Drosophila, Cctra is regulated by alternative splicing such that only females can encode a full-length protein. In contrast to Drosophila, however, where tra is a subordinate(More)
In the tephritids Ceratitis capitata and Bactrocera oleae, the gene transformer acts as the memory device for sex determination, via an auto-regulatory function; and functional Tra protein is produced only in females. This paper investigates the evolution of the gene tra, which was characterised in twelve tephritid species belonging to the less extensively(More)
Transformer functions as a binary switch gene in the sex determination and sexual differentiation of Drosophila melanogaster and Ceratitis capitata, two insect species that separated nearly 100 million years ago. The TRA protein is required for female differentiation of XX individuals, while XY individuals express smaller, presumably nonfunctional TRA(More)
Courtship behaviours are common features of animal species that reproduce sexually. Typically, males are involved in courting females. Insects display an astonishing variety of courtship strategies primarily based on innate stereotyped responses to various external stimuli. In Drosophila melanogaster, male courtship requires proteins encoded by the(More)
In mosquitoes, the olfactory system plays a crucial role in many types of behavior, including nectar feeding, host preference selection and oviposition. Aedes albopictus, known also as the tiger mosquito, is an anthropophilic species, which in the last few years, due to its strong ecological plasticity, has spread throughout the world. Although long(More)
We report the first practical application of a genetic scheme devised for the purpose of obtaining large quantities of embryos of a specific sex. The scheme, which is based on the meiotic drive system Segregation Distorter, results in the production of populations of zygotes that are almost exclusively of one sex. We have used this scheme to determine that(More)
We report the characterization of two novel genes of Drosophila melanogaster, named mst36Fa and mst36Fb. They define a novel gene family, showing identical time and tissue-specificity limited to male germ cells where their transcription starts during meiotic prophase. These two genes encode for two slightly basic proteins highly homologous to each other and(More)
The genetic transformation of insects by transposable elements is based on the use of selectable genetic markers required to identify transgenic individuals. Conserved regulatory sequences can be used to develop single constructs capable of adequate expression of a marker, across a range of different species. We present evidence that the Drosophila GBS(More)
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