Poor sperm motility characterized by a distinct aberration in flagellar waveform known as ``curlicue'' is a hallmark of t haplotype (t) homozygous male sterility. Previous studies have localized ``curlicue'' and a flagellar developmental defect, ``whipless'', to the Hybrid Sterility 6 locus (Hst6), between the markers Pim1 and Crya1. More recent heterospecific breeding experiments between Mus spretus (Spretus) and Mus musculus domesticus (Domesticus) have mapped the primary source(s) of both ``curlicue'' and ``whipless'' to a small sub-locus of Hst6, Curlicue a (Ccua). Here we report the complete physical isolation of the Ccua locus and the identification of a candidate gene for expression of both ``whipless'' and ``curlicue'' at its proximal end, an axonemal dynein heavy chain gene, Dnahc8, formerly mapped by interspecific backcross analysis near Pim1. Dnahc8 mRNA expression commences in the Domesticus wild-type testis just prior to flagellar assembly and is testis-specific in the adult male. However, expression of Dnahc8 is not readily evident in the testis of either Spretus or ``whipless'' animals (Domesticus males homozygous for the Spretus allele of Dnahc8). Our results argue that Dnahc8 is fundamental to flagellar organization and function in Domesticus, but not Spretus, and suggest that Dnahc8 is integral to both Hst6- and t-specific male infertility.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2014
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