Faculty Research Page

Thomas Cline

Thomas Cline

Professor Emeritus of Genetics, Genomics and Development

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Research Interests

We studied how sexual dimorphism in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is genetically programmed and how that programming may have evolved.  All our work over nearly four decades related in one way or another to the remarkable master regulatory switch gene Sex-lethal (Sxl), which is at the heart of the fruit fly sex determination system.  We took advantage of Sxl's unique features to explore a variety of different research questions, with an increasing emphasis on evolution as understanding of insect sex-determination mechanisms progressed.  We retired in 2012 and completed the closing of our lab in 2014 with the transfer of our most valuable mutant fly lines to the Bloomington Stock Center.  Currently we professionally reside in the laboratory of Professor Barbara Meyer where we kibitz on aspects of C. elegans sex determination, chromosome structure/behavior, and evolution.  

Selected Publications

Drosophila switch gene Sex-lethal can bypass its switch-gene target transformer to regulate aspects of female behavior.  [Evans,D.S. and T.W. Cline (2013) Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S. 110,  E4474-4481]

Cline, T.W., Dorsett, M., Sun, S., Harrison, M.M., Dines, J., Sefton, L., and L. Megna, 2010.  Evolution of the Drosophila feminizing switch gene Sex-lethal.  [Cline, T.W., Dorsett, M., Sun, S., Harrison, M.M., Dines, J., Sefton, L., and L. Megna (2010) Genetics 186, 1321-1336](PMID#20837995).

Grainyhead and Zelda compete for binding to the promoters of the earliest-expressed Drosophila genes. [Harrison, M.M., Botchan, M.R., and T.W. Cline (2010) Dev. Biol. 345,  248-255] 

Effects of Wolbachia infection and ovarian tumor mutations on Sex-lethal germline functioning in Drosophila. [S. Sun and T.W. Cline (2009) Genetics 181, 1291-1301]

Sexual back talk with evolutionary implications: stimulation of the Drosophila sex-determination gene Sex-lethal by its target transformer. [S.G. Siera and T.W. Cline (2008) Genetics 180, 1963-1981]

Drosophila melanogaster male somatic cells feminized solely by Tra(F) can collaborate with female germ cells to make functional eggs. [D.S. Evans and T.W. Cline (2007) Genetics 175, 631-642] 

The TAGteam DNA motif controls the timing of Drosophila pre-blastoderm transcription. [J.R. ten Bosch, J.A. Benavides and T.W. Cline (2006) Development 133, 1967-1977] 

Recruitment of the proneural gene scute to the Drosophila sex-determination pathway. [L.A. Wrischnik, J.R. Timmer, L.A. Megna, and T.W. Cline (2003) Genetics 165, 2007-2027]

A host-parasite interaction suppresses oogenesis defects of Drosophila sex-determination gene mutants. [D. J. Starr and T.W. Cline (2002) Nature 418, 76-79]

An extracellular activator of the Drosophila JAK/STAT pathway is a sex-determination signal element. [L. Sefton, J. R. Timmer, Y. Zhang, F. Beranger, and T. W. Cline (2000) Nature 405, 970-973]

Functioning of the Drosophila integral U1/U2 protein independent of U1 and U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles is revealed by snf+ gene dose effects. [Cline, T.W., Rudner, D.Z., Barbash, D.A., Bell, M., and R. Vutien (1999) Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. U.S. 96, 14451-14458]

Last Updated 2015-09-01