Worm Breeder's Gazette 1(1): 12

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

Temperature Sensitive Intersex Mutants

K. Lew, G. Nelson, J.Miwa, S. Ward

In order to study the process of fertilization in C.  elegans, we 
have been characterizing ts sterile mutations similar to the 
spermatogenesis defective mutants described by Hirsh and Vanderslice.  
These are isolated as ts sterile hermaphrodites that lay unfertilized 
oocytes which can be fertilized by wild-type sperm.  One such mutant, 
ts17, was found to have a second ts phenotype.  When grown from eggs 
at 25 C, all 'males' homozygous for ts17 have a normal looking male 
bursa but have hermaphrodite-like gonads.  They are sterile.  We call 
these mutant animals intersexes.  The gonads in an intersex resemble 
hermaphrodite gonads to varying degrees.  Commonly, intersex animals 
have two gonads with several mature oocytes as well as a vulva.  From 
temperature shift experiments, the critical temperature for both 
phenotypes, hermaphrodite sterility, and intersex is during the first 
or second larval stage.
The mutation is not sex linked.  A second ts mutation with the same 
dual phenotype appears to be allelic to ts17 so mutations in this gene 
may be common.  Other hermaphrodite sterile mutants do not have the 
second phenotype.