Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

An ancestral link between genetic and environmental sex determination

Date:
March 25, 2011
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Researchers have found a highly significant connection between the molecular mechanisms underlying genetic and environmental sex determination. The scientists report the identification of a gene responsible for the production of males during environmental sex determination in the crustacean Daphnia.

Researchers from Osaka University and the National Institute for Basic Biology, Japan, have found a highly significant connection between the molecular mechanisms underlying genetic and environmental sex determination. The scientists report in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics the identification of a gene responsible for the production of males during environmental sex determination in the crustacean Daphnia.

Ways in which an individual organism's sex is determined are diverse among animal lineages and can be broadly divided into two major categories: genetic and environmental. In genetic sex determination (GSD), sex-specific differentiation results from intrinsic genetic differences between males and females, whereas environmental sex determination (ESD) relies upon environmental signals to induce male or female sex determination. In contrast to GSD models, the genetics of ESD organisms are poorly understood.

The researchers cloned Doublesex (Dsx) genes from Daphnia magna, a freshwater brachiopod crustacean that clones itself to produce males in response to certain environmental cues. The Dsx genes play an important role in controlling sexual differences in organisms using GSD such as nematodes, insects, and vertebrates. Knocking out one particular Dsx gene, DapmaDsx1, in male embryos resulted in the production of female traits including ovarian maturation, whereas ectopic expression of DapmaDsx1 in female embryos resulted in the development of male-like phenotypes.

The researchers infer that there is an ancient, previously unidentified link between genetic and environmental sex determination. This study was confined only to the role of Dsx in ESD, so it would be highly desirable to establish the link between the environmental signal and Dsx expression. However, this work lends support to the "Doublesex hypothesis" of sex determination, in which many different sorts of upstream regulatory pathways could converge on Dsx-family genes, which would serve as the basis of sexual differentiation mechanisms across the animal kingdom.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "An ancestral link between genetic and environmental sex determination." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324181734.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2011, March 25). An ancestral link between genetic and environmental sex determination. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324181734.htm
Public Library of Science. "An ancestral link between genetic and environmental sex determination." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324181734.htm (accessed August 22, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, August 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

Endangered Red Wolves Face Uncertain Future

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) A federal judge temporarily banned coyote hunting to save endangered red wolves, but local hunters say that the wolf preservation program does more harm than good. Meanwhile federal officials are reviewing its wolf program in North Carolina. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd

AP (Aug. 22, 2014) New England farms are seeing a surge in younger farm hands as the 'buy local' food movement grows across the country. (Aug. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Drug Used To Treat 'Ebola's Cousin' Shows Promise

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) An experimental drug used to treat Marburg virus in rhesus monkeys could give new insight into a similar treatment for Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Terrifying City-Dwelling Spiders Are Bigger And More Fertile

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, spiders that live in cities are bigger, fatter and multiply faster. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins