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Sex-specific regulation of development, growth and metabolism
journal contributionposted on 25.05.2022, 17:36 authored by Alexander ShingletonAlexander Shingleton, Isabelle VeaIsabelle Vea
Adult females and males of most species differ in many aspects of their morphology, physiology and behavior, in response to sex-specific selective pressures that maximize fitness. While we have an increasingly good understanding of the genetic mechanisms that initiate these differences, the sex-specific developmental trajectories that generate them are much less well understood. Here we review recent advances in the sex-specific regulation of development focusing on two models where this development is increasingly well understood: Sexual dimorphism of body size in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and sexual dimorphism of horns in the horned beetle Onthophagus taurus. Because growth and development are also supported by metabolism, the regulation of sex-specific metabolism during and after development is an important aspect of the generation of female and male phenotypes. Hitherto, the study of sex-specific development has largely been independent of the study of sex-specific metabolism. Nevertheless, as we discuss in this review, recent research has begun to reveal considerable overlap in the cellular and physiological mechanisms that regulate sex-specific development and metabolism.