Fish have evolved a variety of sex‐determining (SD) systems including male heterogamy (XY), female heterogamy (ZW) and environmental SD. Little is known about SD mechanisms of
- NSF-PAR ID:
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- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Molecular Ecology
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- p. 2165-2175
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Teleosts are important models to study sex chromosomes and sex-determining (SD) genes because they present a variety of sex determination systems. Here, we used Nanopore and Hi-C technologies to generate a high-contiguity chromosome-level genome assembly of a YY southern catfish ( Silurus meridionalis ). The assembly is 750.0 Mb long, with contig N50 of 15.96 Mb and scaffold N50 of 27.22 Mb. We also sequenced and assembled an XY male genome with a size of 727.2 Mb and contig N50 of 13.69 Mb. We identified a candidate SD gene through comparisons to our previous assembly of an XX individual. By resequencing male and female pools, we characterized a 2.38 Mb sex-determining region (SDR) on Chr24. Analysis of read coverage and comparison of the X and Y chromosome sequences showed a Y specific insertion (approx. 500 kb) in the SDR which contained a male-specific duplicate of amhr2 (named amhr2y ). amhr2y and amhr2 shared high-nucleotide identity (81.0%) in the coding region but extremely low identity in the promotor and intron regions. The exclusive expression in the male gonadal primordium and loss-of-function inducing male to female sex reversal confirmed the role of amhr2y in male sex determination. Our study provides a new example of amhr2 as the SD gene in fish and sheds light on the convergent evolution of the duplication of AMH/AMHR2 pathway members underlying the evolution of sex determination in different fish lineages.more » « less
Selection that acts in a sex-specific manner causes the evolution of sexual dimorphism. Sex-specific phenotypic selection has been demonstrated in many taxa and can be in the same direction in the two sexes (differing only in magnitude), limited to one sex, or in opposing directions (antagonistic). Attempts to detect the signal of sex-specific selection from genomic data have confronted numerous difficulties. These challenges highlight the utility of “direct approaches,” in which fitness is predicted from individual genotype within each sex. Here, we directly measured selection on Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in a natural population of the sexually dimorphic, dioecious plant, Silene latifolia. We measured flowering phenotypes, estimated fitness over one reproductive season, as well as survival to the next year, and genotyped all adults and a subset of their offspring for SNPs across the genome. We found that while phenotypic selection was congruent (fitness covaried similarly with flowering traits in both sexes), SNPs showed clear evidence for sex-specific selection. SNP-level selection was particularly strong in males and may involve an important gametic component (e.g., pollen competition). While the most significant SNPs under selection in males differed from those under selection in females, paternity selection showed a highly polygenic tradeoff with female survival. Alleles that increased male mating success tended to reduce female survival, indicating sexual antagonism at the genomic level. Perhaps most importantly, this experiment demonstrates that selection within natural populations can be strong enough to measure sex-specific fitness effects of individual loci.
Males and females typically differ phenotypically, a phenomenon known as sexual dimorphism. These differences arise when selection on males differs from selection on females, either in magnitude or direction. Estimated relationships between traits and fitness indicate that sex-specific selection is widespread, occurring in both plants and animals, and explains why so many species exhibit sexual dimorphism. Finding the specific loci experiencing sex-specific selection is a challenging prospect but one worth undertaking given the extensive evolutionary consequences. Flowering plants with separate sexes are ideal organisms for such studies, given that the fitness of females can be estimated by counting the number of seeds they produce. Determination of fitness for males has been made easier as thousands of genetic markers can now be used to assign paternity to seeds. We undertook just such a study in S. latifolia, a short-lived, herbaceous plant. We identified loci under sex-specific selection in this species and found more loci affecting fitness in males than females. Importantly, loci with major effects on male fitness were distinct from the loci with major effects on females. We detected sexual antagonism only when considering the aggregate effect of many loci. Hence, even though males and females share the same genome, this does not necessarily impose a constraint on their independent evolution.
One evolutionary path from hermaphroditism to dioecy is via a gynodioecious intermediate. The evolution of dioecy may also coincide with the formation of sex chromosomes that possess sex‐determining loci that are physically linked in a region of suppressed recombination. Dioecious papaya (
Carica papaya) has an XY chromosome system, where the presence of a Y chromosome determines maleness. However, in cultivation, papaya is gynodioecious, due to the conversion of the male Y chromosome to a hermaphroditic Yhchromosome during its domestication. Methods
We investigated gene expression linked to the X, Y, and Yhchromosomes at different floral developmental stages to identify differentially expressed genes that may be involved in the sexual transition of males to hermaphrodites.
We identified 309 sex‐biased genes found on the sex chromosomes, most of which are found in the pseudoautosomal regions. Female (XX) expression in the sex‐determining region was almost double that of X‐linked expression in males (XY) and hermaphrodites (XYh), which rules out dosage compensation for most sex‐linked genes; although, an analysis of hemizygous X‐linked loci found evidence of partial dosage compensation. Furthermore, we identified a candidate gene associated with sex determination and the transition to hermaphroditism, a homolog of the MADS‐box protein
SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE. Conclusions
We identified a pattern of partial dosage compensation for hemizygous genes located in the papaya sex‐determining region. Furthermore, we propose that loss‐of‐expression of the Y‐linked
SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASEhomolog facilitated the transition from males to hermaphrodites in papaya.
The Mozambique tilapia ( Oreochromis mossambicus ) is a fascinating taxon for evolutionary and ecological research. It is an important food fish and one of the most widely distributed tilapias. Because males grow faster than females, genetically male tilapia are preferred in aquaculture. However, studies of sex determination and sex control in O . mossambicus have been hindered by the limited characterization of the genome. To address this gap, we assembled a high-quality genome of O . mossambicus , using a combination of high coverage of Illumina and Nanopore reads, coupled with Hi-C and RNA-Seq data. Our genome assembly spans 1,007 Mb with a scaffold N50 of 11.38 Mb. We successfully anchored and oriented 98.6% of the genome on 22 linkage groups (LGs). Based on re-sequencing data for male and female fishes from three families, O . mossambicus segregates both an XY system on LG14 and a ZW system on LG3. The sex-patterned SNPs shared by two XY families narrowed the sex determining regions to ∼3 Mb on LG14. The shared sex-patterned SNPs included two deleterious missense mutations in ahnak and rhbdd1 , indicating the possible roles of these two genes in sex determination. This annotated chromosome-level genome assembly and identification of sex determining regions represents a valuable resource to help understand the evolution of genetic sex determination in tilapias.more » « less
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