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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Hormonal induction and stability of monosex populations in the medaka (Oryzias latipes): expression of sex-specific marker genes.

The model teleost medaka (Oryzias latipes, d-rR.YHNI strain) was used to produce offspring of a defined sex (monosex populations) by crossing experimentally produced YY and XX males to normal females. These monosex populations had the predicted chromosomal constitution as shown by a sex chromosome-specific DNA sequence. However, in XX populations the spontaneous development of males without previous exposure to androgens was observed. Differences in the percentage of male offspring from individual XX breeding pairs indicate a possible variation of unknown genetic factors to be responsible for the development of XX males. The expression of two gonadal genes that are involved in sex differentiation, Dmrt1b(Y) and Fig1a (factor in the germ line alpha), was analyzed in monosex populations. Dmrt1b(Y) expression correlated strictly with the genotype but not the sexual phenotype. When XY juvenile fish were exposed to 17 alpha-ethynylestradiol at concentrations that induce sex reversal, Dmrt1b(Y) expression was not repressed. However, Dmrt1b(Y) was expressed in XY or YY gonads regardless of the sex and could not be detected in XX individuals. In contrast, the expression of Fig1a correlated with the phenotypic sex: Fig1a was expressed in male juvenile fish exposed to 17 alpha-ethynylestradiol and repressed in fish exposed to 17 alpha-methyltestosterone. The Dmrt1b(Y) expression appears to reflect an early and important event in sex determination and lends support to the suggested key regulatory role of the Dmrt1b(Y) gene in sex determination. This process is apparently hormone insensitive, and the expression of further downstream acting genes can be regulated (directly or indirectly) by sex steroids.[1]


  1. Hormonal induction and stability of monosex populations in the medaka (Oryzias latipes): expression of sex-specific marker genes. Scholz, S., Rösler, S., Schäffer, M., Hornung, U., Schartl, M., Gutzeit, H.O. Biol. Reprod. (2003) [Pubmed]
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