Potential genetic causes for sexual dimorphism in immune response of Drosphila melanogaster in respose to infection with the fungal pathogen Beauberia bassinan

Other Titles

The innate immune response is an organism’s first line of defense against disease, be it bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, and it is an integral part of the evolutionary survival of any species. A well-studied model of innate immunity is the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, which has advanced our understanding of many immune signaling pathways that are homologous to mammals. D. melanogaster immune defense responds in a sexually dimorphic manner to infection with various pathogens, including infection with the fungus Beauveria bassiana. Specifically, females die much faster after initial infection compared to males, but the underlying genetic causes responsible are unknown. I examined potential genetic causes of the observed sexual dimorphism by testing for the presence or absence of sexual dimorphism in response to sprayed doses of B. bassiana in various fly strains, with mutations in Toll and IMD signaling pathways. I hypothesized that genes involved in the Toll pathway are responsible for the sexual dimorphism. The results of the experiment showed that mutations in either the Toll or IMD pathways both eliminated the sexual dimorphism. The data suggests that both pathways play important roles in the innate immune response to fungal infection in Drosophila, and that both pathways are required for sexual dimorphism in immune response.

Journal / Series
Volume & Issue
Date Issued
Biological sciences honors program; Drosophila melanogaster; Beauveria bassiana; immunity; Toll pathway; IMD pathway
Effective Date
Expiration Date
Union Local
Number of Workers
Committee Chair
Committee Co-Chair
Committee Member
Degree Discipline
Biological Sciences
Degree Name
B.A. of Biological Sciences
Degree Level
Bachelor of Arts
Related Version
Related DOI
Related To
Related Part
Based on Related Item
Has Other Format(s)
Part of Related Item
Related To
Related Publication(s)
Link(s) to Related Publication(s)
Link(s) to Reference(s)
Previously Published As
Government Document
Other Identifiers
Rights URI
dissertation or thesis
Accessibility Feature
Accessibility Hazard
Accessibility Summary
Link(s) to Catalog Record