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Spermatogenesis and genetic conflicts

Several classical examples of genetic conflicts are described in Drosophila melanogaster and its sibling species D. simulans. They generally result in the non-Mendelian transmission of particular chromosomes, sometimes in spectacular proportions. In D. melanogaster, the Segregation Distorter (SD) system is a famous example of selfish transmission of an autosome at the expense of its homolog, and manifests itself in post-meiotic spermatids. We are studying SD with the goal of elucidating the molecular mechanisms involved in spermatid elimination in distorter males. This work could reveal yet unknown aspects of chromosome organization and regulation during male gametogenesis.