In both sexes, the Drosophila genital disc contains the female and male genital primordia. The sex determination gene doublesex controls which of these primordia will develop and which will be repressed. In females, the presence of Doublesex(F) product results in the development of the female genital primordium and repression of the male primordium. In males, the presence of Doublesex(M) product results in the development and repression of the male and female genital primordia, respectively. This report shows that Doublesex(F) prevents the induction of decapentaplegic by Hedgehog in the repressed male primordium of female genital discs, whereas Doublesex(M) blocks the Wingless pathway in the repressed female primordium of male genital discs. It is also shown that Doublesex(F) is continuously required during female larval development to prevent activation of decapentaplegic in the repressed male primordium, and during pupation for female genital cytodifferentiation. In males, however, it seems that Doublesex(M) is not continuously required during larval development for blocking the Wingless signaling pathway in the female genital primordium. Furthermore, Doublesex(M) does not appear to be needed during pupation for male genital cytodifferentiation. Using dachshund as a gene target for Decapentaplegic and Wingless signals, it was also found that Doublesex(M) and Doublesex(F) both positively and negatively control the response to these signals in male and female genitalia, respectively. A model is presented for the dimorphic sexual development of the genital primordium in which both Doublesex(M) and Doublesex(F) products play positive and negative roles.

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