A microorganism has been killing male embryos of fruit flies and now we know why
The mysterious killer of male fruit flies finally identified - short science news

Since 1950s scientists have tried to solve a mystery: what kills male fruit flies embryos (Drosophila), without affecting the females? Some time ago it was discovered that the cause was a bacteria called Spiroplasma poulsonii however, it was not clear why it kills only the males. Now, a new study revealed the molecular mechanisms behind the mystery. The culprit is a protein called Spaid which interferes with a male-specific genetic process, thus explaining why the bacteria only kills the males. “To our knowledge, Spaid is the first bacterial effector protein identified to date that affects host cellular machinery in a sex-specific manner,” says Dr. Toshiyuki Harumoto, one of the authors of the paper.

Read the full story: EPFL
Scientific publication: Nature