Worm Breeder's Gazette 9(2): 94
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Mutations of the gene tra-3 IV cause partial masculinization of XX animals. A total of 42 extragenic suppressors of tra-3 have been isolated and analyzed (see WBG 8-2: 46; Genetics 111: 287). Most of these cause feminization of XX or XO animals when crossed into a tra-3( +) background. These feminizing suppressors are all mutations of sex- determining genes: gain-of-function alleles of tra-1 (11 alleles) or tra-2 (one allele), or loss-of-function alleles of fem-1 (4 alleles), fem-2 (4 alleles) or fem-3 (18 alleles). The remaining suppressors are recessive weak suppressors without obvious feminizing effects. They identify four new genes: 1) sup(e1992) IV maps between unc-30 and tra-3; ts sterile phenotype. 2) sup(e2042) IV maps between dpy-20 and unc-30; no other phenotype. 3) egl-48(e1952) II is tightly linked to sqt-3; XX animals Egl-4) 008) I is close to bli-3; XO animals Mab. The last suppressor, e2008, has a 'morphogenetic Mab' (male abnormal) phenotype; mab-11 XO males have swollen bursae, reduced fans and shortened rays. Nevertheless, all male structures (e.g. copulatory spicules) are present and the abnormal males can sometimes mate successfully. Mab-11 XX hermaphrodites have swollen vulvae, and are sometimes Egl. These phenotypes are very similar to those of some other mab mutations, particularly mab-1 alleles. A double mutant, mab- 1(e1228); onstructed and found to show similar suppression to mab-11. This makes it likely that mab-11(e2008) is a pleiotropic single mutation, rather than a double mutant. Both amber (e1107) and non-amber (e1767) alleles of tra-3 are suppressed by mab-11. Also, tra-2(e1209) (a weak tra-2 allele with a phenotype similar to tra-3) is partly suppressed by mab-11.The egl-48 suppressor may be related to mab-11 and mab-1, in that egl-48 XO males sometimes have swollen bursae, and the Egl phenotype in the XX hermaphrodite seems to result from a vulval morphogenesis defect. Several other mab mutations affect morphogenesis (as opposed to lineage) of the bursa, and sometimes of the vulva too: mab-4, mab-7, ere tested for the ability to suppress tra-3; none of them had any effect (nor did the 'lineage mabs', mab-3 and mab-9).These suppression effects are minor, but striking. I don't have any attractive explanations at the moment.