Bruce Baker's laboratory

Department of Biological Sciences
Stanford University, CA  94305

We study sexuality in the fruit fly* Drosophila melanogaster as a model for developmental process. Major focuses of current research include:

  1. How the sex-determination hierarchy of regulatory genes specifies all differences between males and females;
  2. How the actions of this hierarchy of regulatory genes integrate with those of the regulatory genes controlling other aspects of development (e.g. segmentation and segment identities) to build an adult (somatic sexual development and differentiation);
  3. How the evolution of sex determination and differentiation is occuring;
  4. How the neural circuitry underlying sexual behavior (which is an innate behavior in this species) is built into the CNS during development and this circuitry functions in the adult;
  5. How the activities of the genes on the single X chromosome in males and the two X chromosomes in females are made equivalent (a process termed dosage compensation).

*please note:  although commonly called a fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster is actually a vinegar fly and not a true fruit fly like the medfly.
Revised: May 11, 2003