An SNP-Based Linkage Map for Zebrafish Reveals Sex Determination Loci.
ABSTRACT: A surprising diversity of mechanisms controls sex determination of vertebrate organisms, even among closely related species. Both genetic and temperature-dependent systems of sex determination have been described in teleost fish. In the common zebrafish model organism, heteromorphic sex chromosomes are not observed, and the potential role of a genetic component of sex determination remains largely unknown. Here we report a genome-wide linkage study of sex determination in zebrafish using a novel SNP genetic map. We identified loci on zebrafish chromosomes 5 (LOD score 7.9) and 16 (LOD score 9.3) governing sex determination as a complex trait, rather than as an XY or ZW genetic system. Each of these loci contains a prominent candidate gene with a conserved role in sex determination across additional species that suggest potential mechanisms of sex determination in zebrafish. The chromosome 5 locus harbors dmrt1, a key gene in sex determination from fruit flies to humans; mutation of the human DMRT1 ortholog is a cause of complete sex reversal of XY individuals. The chromosome 16 locus harbors cyp21a2; mutation of the human CYP21A2 ortholog is one of the more common causes of pseudohermaphroditism. Mutation detection at each of these candidate genes within the zebrafish cross identified hypomorphic variants on the female-associated allele of each locus. The two loci together accounted for 16% of variance of the trait. Interacting environmental cues are likely to be an additional important component of sex determination in zebrafish.
Project description:The dmrt1 (doublesex and mab-3 related transcription factor 1) gene is a key regulator of sex determination and/or gonadal sex differentiation across metazoan animals. This is unusual given that sex determination genes are typically not well conserved. The mechanisms by which zebrafish sex is determined have remained elusive due to the lack of sex chromosomes and the complex polygenic nature of sex determination in domesticated strains. To investigate the role of dmrt1 in zebrafish sex determination and gonad development, we isolated mutations disrupting this gene. We found that the majority of dmrt1 mutant fish develop as fertile females suggesting a complete male-to-female sex reversal in mutant animals that would have otherwise developed as males. A small percentage of mutant animals became males, but were sterile and displayed testicular dysgenesis. Therefore zebrafish dmrt1 functions in male sex determination and testis development. Mutant males had aberrant gonadal development at the onset of gonadal sex-differentiation, displaying reduced oocyte apoptosis followed by development of intersex gonads and failed testis morphogenesis and spermatogenesis. By contrast, female ovaries developed normally. We found that Dmrt1 is necessary for normal transcriptional regulation of the amh (anti-Müllerian hormone) and foxl2 (forkhead box L2) genes, which are thought to be important for male or female sexual development respectively. Interestingly, we identified one dmrt1 mutant allele that co-operates with a linked segregation distorter locus to generate an apparent XY sex determination mechanism. We conclude that dmrt1 is dispensable for ovary development but necessary for testis development in zebrafish, and that dmrt1 promotes male development by transcriptionally regulating male and female genes as has been described in other animals. Furthermore, the strong sex-ratio bias caused by dmrt1 reduction-of-function points to potential mechanisms through which sex chromosomes may evolve.
Project description:Rainbow trout have an XX/XY genetic mechanism of sex determination where males are the heterogametic sex. The homology of the sex-determining gene (SDG) in medaka to Dmrt1 suggested that SDGs evolve from downstream genes by gene duplication. Orthologous sequences of the major genes of the mammalian sex determination pathway have been reported in the rainbow trout but the map position for the majority of these genes has not been assigned.Five loci of four candidate genes (Amh, Dax1, Dmrt1 and Sox6) were tested for linkage to the Y chromosome of rainbow trout. We exclude the role of all these loci as candidates for the primary SDG in this species. Sox6i and Sox6ii, duplicated copies of Sox6, mapped to homeologous linkage groups 10 and 18 respectively. Genotyping fishes of the OSU x Arlee mapping family for Sox6i and Sox6ii alleles indicated that Sox6i locus might be deleted in the Arlee lineage.Additional candidate genes should be tested for their linkage to the Y chromosome. Mapping data of duplicated Sox6 loci supports previously suggested homeology between linkage groups 10 and 18. Enrichment of the rainbow trout genomic map with known gene markers allows map comparisons with other salmonids. Mapping of candidate sex-determining loci is important for analyses of potential autosomal modifiers of sex-determination in rainbow trout.
Project description:Within vertebrates, major sex determining genes can differ among taxa and even within species. In zebrafish (Danio rerio), neither heteromorphic sex chromosomes nor single sex determination genes of large effect, like Sry in mammals, have yet been identified. Furthermore, environmental factors can influence zebrafish sex determination. Although progress has been made in understanding zebrafish gonad differentiation (e.g. the influence of germ cells on gonad fate), the primary genetic basis of zebrafish sex determination remains poorly understood. To identify genetic loci associated with sex, we analyzed F(2) offspring of reciprocal crosses between Oregon *AB and Nadia (NA) wild-type zebrafish stocks. Genome-wide linkage analysis, using more than 5,000 sequence-based polymorphic restriction site associated (RAD-tag) markers and population genomic analysis of more than 30,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms in our *ABxNA crosses revealed a sex-associated locus on the end of the long arm of chr-4 for both cross families, and an additional locus in the middle of chr-3 in one cross family. Additional sequencing showed that two SNPs in dmrt1 previously suggested to be functional candidates for sex determination in a cross of ABxIndia wild-type zebrafish, are not associated with sex in our AB fish. Our data show that sex determination in zebrafish is polygenic and that different genes may influence sex determination in different strains or that different genes become more important under different environmental conditions. The association of the end of chr-4 with sex is remarkable because, unique in the karyotype, this chromosome arm shares features with known sex chromosomes: it is highly heterochromatic, repetitive, late replicating, and has reduced recombination. Our results reveal that chr-4 has functional and structural properties expected of a sex chromosome.
Project description:The extent to which sex reversal is associated with transitions in sex determining systems (XX-XY, ZZ-ZW, etc.) or abnormal sexual differentiation is predominantly unexplored in amphibians. This is in large part because most amphibian taxa have homomorphic sex chromosomes, which has traditionally made it challenging to identify discordance between phenotypic and genetic sex in amphibians, despite all amphibians having a genetic component to sex determination. Recent advances in molecular techniques such as genome complexity reduction and high throughput sequencing present a valuable avenue for furthering our understanding of sex determination in amphibians and other taxa with homomorphic sex chromosomes like many fish and reptiles.We use DArTseq as a novel approach to identify sex-linked markers in the North American green frog (Rana clamitans melanota) using lab-reared tadpoles as well as wild-caught adults from seven ponds either in undeveloped, forested habitats or suburban ponds known to be subject to contamination by anthropogenic chemicals. The DArTseq methodology identified 13 sex-linked SNP loci and eight presence-absence loci associated with males, indicating an XX-XY system. Both alleles from a single locus show partial high sequence homology to Dmrt1, a gene linked to sex determination and differentiation throughout Metazoa. Two other loci have sequence similarities to regions of the chimpanzee and human X-chromosome as well as the chicken Z-chromosome. Several loci also show geographic variation in sex-linkage, possibly indicating sex chromosome recombination. While all loci are statistically sex-linked, they show varying degrees of female heterozygosity and male homozygosity, providing further evidence that some markers are on regions of the sex chromosomes undergoing higher rates of recombination and therefore further apart from the putative sex determining locus.The ease of the DArTseq platform provides a useful avenue for future research on sex reversal and sex chromosome evolution in vertebrates, particularly for non-model species with homomorphic or cryptic or nascent sex chromosomes.
Project description:The sex determination system in crabs is believed to be XY-XX from karyotypy, but centromeres could not be identified in some chromosomes and their morphology is not completely clear. Using quantitative trait locus mapping of the gender phenotype, we revealed a ZW-ZZ sex determination system in Eriocheir sinensis and presented a high-density linkage map covering ~98.5% of the genome, with 73 linkage groups corresponding to the haploid chromosome number. All sex-linked markers in the family we used were located on a single linkage group, LG60, and sex linkage was confirmed by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Forty-six markers detected by GWAS were heterozygous and segregated only in the female parent. The female LG60 was thus the putative W chromosome, with the homologous male LG60 as the Z chromosome. The putative Z and W sex chromosomes were identical in size and carried many homologous loci. Sex ratio (5:1) skewing towards females in induced triploids using unrelated animals also supported a ZW-ZZ system. Transcriptome data were used to search for candidate sex-determining loci, but only one LG60 gene was identified as an ankyrin-2 gene. Double sex- and mab3-related transcription factor 1 (Dmrt1), a Z-linked gene in birds, was located on a putative autosome. With complete genome sequencing and transcriptomic data, more genes on putative sex chromosomes will be characterised, thus leading towards a comprehensive understanding of the sex determination and differentiation mechanisms of E. sinensis, and decapod crustaceans in general.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Tilapia is the common name for a group of cichlid fishes and is one of the most important aquacultured freshwater food fish. Mozambique tilapia and its hybrids, including red tilapia are main representatives of salt tolerant tilapias. A linkage map is an essential framework for mapping QTL for important traits, positional cloning of genes and understanding of genome evolution. RESULTS: We constructed a consensus linkage map of Mozambique tilapia and red tilapia using 95 individuals from two F1 families and 401 microsatellites including 282 EST-derived markers. In addition, we conducted comparative mapping and searched for sex-determining loci on the whole genome. These 401 microsatellites were assigned to 22 linkage groups. The map spanned 1067.6 cM with an average inter-marker distance of 3.3 cM. Comparative mapping between tilapia and stickleback, medaka, pufferfish and zebrafish revealed clear homologous relationships between chromosomes from different species. We found evidence for the fusion of two sets of two independent chromosomes forming two new chromosome pairs, leading to a reduction of 24 chromosome pairs in their ancestor to 22 pairs in tilapias. The XY sex determination locus in Mozambique tilapia was mapped on LG1, and verified in five families containing 549 individuals. The major XY sex determination locus in red tilapia was located on LG22, and verified in two families containing 275 individuals. CONCLUSIONS: A first-generation linkage map of salt tolerant tilapia was constructed using 401 microsatellites. Two separate fusions of two sets of two independent chromosomes may lead to a reduction of 24 chromosome pairs in their ancestor to 22 pairs in tilapias. The XY sex-determining loci from Mozambique tilapia and red tilapia were mapped on LG1 and LG22, respectively. This map provides a useful resource for QTL mapping for important traits and comparative genome studies. The DNA markers linked to the sex-determining loci could be used in the selection of YY males for breeding all-male populations of salt tolerant tilapia, as well as in studies on mechanisms of sex determination in fish.
Project description:The Japanese medaka fish Oryzias latipes has an XX/XY sex-determination system. The Y-linked sex-determination gene DMY is a duplicate of the autosomal gene DMRT1, which encodes a DM-domain-containing transcriptional factor. DMY appears to have originated recently within Oryzias, allowing a detailed evolutionary study of the initial steps that led to the new gene and new sex-determination system. Here I analyze the publicly available DMRT1 and DMY gene sequences of Oryzias species and report the following findings. First, the synonymous substitution rate in DMY is 1.73 times that in DMRT1, consistent with the male-driven evolution hypothesis. Second, the ratio of the rate of nonsynonymous nucleotide substitution (d(N)) to that of synonymous substitution (d(S)) is significantly higher in DMY than in DMRT1. Third, in DMRT1, the d(N)/d(S) ratio for the DM domain is lower than that for non-DM regions, as expected from the functional importance of the DM domain. But in DMY, the opposite is observed and the DM domain is likely under positive Darwinian selection. Fourth, only one characteristic amino acid distinguishes all DMY sequences from all DMRT1 sequences, suggesting that a single amino acid change may be largely responsible for the establishment of DMY as the male sex-determination gene in medaka fish.
Project description:In contrast to our understanding of testicular differentiation, ovarian differentiation is less well understood in vertebrates. In mammals, R-spondin1 (Rspo1), an activator of Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway, is located upstream of the female sex determination pathway. However, the functions of Rspo1 in ovarian differentiation remain unclear in non-mammalian species. In order to elucidate the detailed functions of Rspo/Wnt signaling pathway in fish sex determination/differentiation, the ectopic expression of the Rspo1 gene was performed in XY medaka (Oryzias latipes). The results obtained demonstrated that the gain of Rspo1 function induced femininity in XY fish. The overexpression of Rspo1 enhanced Wnt4b and ?-catenin transcription, and completely suppressed the expression of male-biased genes (Dmy, Gsdf, Sox9a2 and Dmrt1) as well as testicular differentiation. Gonadal reprograming of Rspo1-over-expressed-XY (Rspo1-OV-XY) fish, induced the production of female-biased genes (Cyp19a1a and Foxl2), estradiol-17? production and further female type secondary sexuality. Moreover, Rspo1-OV-XY females were fertile and produced successive generations. Promoter analyses showed that Rspo1 transcription was directly regulated by DM domain genes (Dmy, the sex-determining gene, and Dmrt1) and remained unresponsive to Foxl2. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that Rspo1 is sufficient to activate ovarian development and plays a decisive role in the ovarian differentiation in medaka.
Project description:The majority of lizards classified in the superfamily Iguanoidea have an XX/XY sex-determination system in which sex-chromosomal linkage shows homology with chicken (Gallus gallus) chromosome 15 (GGA15). However, the genomics of sex chromosomes remain largely unexplored owing to the presence of homomorphic sex chromosomes in majority of the species. Recent advances in high-throughput genome complexity reduction sequencing provide an effective approach to the identification of sex-specific loci with both single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and restriction fragment presence/absence (PA), and a better understanding of sex chromosome dynamics in Iguanoidea. In this study, we applied Diversity Arrays Technology (DArTseqTM) in 29 phenotypic sex assignments (14 males and 15 females) of green iguana (Iguana iguana). We confirmed a male heterogametic (XX/XY) sex determination mode in this species, identifying 29 perfectly sex-linked SNP/PA loci and 164 moderately sex-linked SNP/PA loci, providing evidence probably indicative of XY recombination. Three loci from among the perfectly sex-linked SNP/PA loci showed partial homology with several amniote sex chromosomal linkages. The results support the hypothesis of an ancestral super-sex chromosome with overlaps of partial sex-chromosomal linkages. However, only one locus among the moderately sex-linked loci showed homology with GGA15, which suggests that the specific region homologous to GGA15 was located outside the non-recombination region but in close proximity to this region of the sex chromosome in green iguana. Therefore, the location of GGA15 might be further from the putative sex-determination locus in green iguana. This is a paradigm shift in understanding linkages on homomorphic X and Y sex chromosomes. The DArTseq platform provides an easy-to-use strategy for future research on the evolution of sex chromosomes in Iguanoidea, particularly for non-model species with homomorphic or highly cryptic sex chromosomes.
Project description:In the XX/XY sex-determining system, the Y-linked SRY genes of most mammals and the DMY/Dmrt1bY genes of the teleost fish medaka have been characterized as sex-determining genes that trigger formation of the testis. However, the molecular mechanism of the ZZ/ZW-type system in vertebrates, including the clawed frog Xenopus laevis, is unknown. Here, we isolated an X. laevis female genome-specific DM-domain gene, DM-W, and obtained molecular evidence of a W-chromosome in this species. The DNA-binding domain of DM-W showed a strikingly high identity (89%) with that of DMRT1, but it had no significant sequence similarity with the transactivation domain of DMRT1. In nonmammalian vertebrates, DMRT1 expression is connected to testis formation. We found DMRT1 or DM-W to be expressed exclusively in the primordial gonads of both ZZ and ZW or ZW tadpoles, respectively. Although DMRT1 showed continued expression after sex determination, DM-W was expressed transiently during sex determination. Interestingly, DM-W mRNA was more abundant than DMRT1 mRNA in the primordial gonads of ZW tadpoles early in sex determination. To assess the role of DM-W, we produced transgenic tadpoles carrying a DM-W expression vector driven by approximately 3 kb of the 5'-flanking sequence of DM-W or by the cytomegalovirus promoter. Importantly, some developing gonads of ZZ transgenic tadpoles showed ovarian cavities and primary oocytes with both drivers, suggesting that DM-W is crucial for primary ovary formation. Taken together, these results suggest that DM-W is a likely sex (ovary)-determining gene in X. laevis.