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Two papers unraveled the mystery of sex determination and benthic adaptation of the flatfish
Date:2/3/2014

erature induction. For organisms with sex chromosomes, a challenge for the sex-reversed individuals is the unequal gene dosage on sex chromosomes when compared with normal individuals. For example, pseudo-males (ZW) of tongue sole lack one Z chromosome compared with normal males (ZZ), and contain one extra W chromosome with female-specific genes. Thus, how to revolve gene dosage inequality on sex chromosomes is a fundamental question for sex reversal. Researchers found that, dosage compensation only occurs in a restricted, methylated cytosine enriched Z chromosomal region in pseudo-male testes, achieving equal expression level in normal male testes. Some spermatogenesis-related genes were found in this region. For the W chromosome, they observed that many W-linked genes are still actively expressed in pseudo-males. The researchers speculate that the expression of these W-linked genes may compensate the dosage of their counterparts on the Z chromosomes. However, female-specific genes, such as figla, were suppressed in pseudo-males by methylation regulation. In conclusion, the researchers propose that epigenetic regulation plays multiple crucial roles in sexual reversal of tongue sole fish.

Flatfish are characterized by a transition from pelagic to benthic habitats when they metamorphose from free swimming larvae to bottom-dwelling fish, accompanied by a series of biological and phenotypic changes, such as eye migration, displacement of internal organs, the difference of pigmentation and the sensitivity of light. By comparing the transcriptomes of pelagic and benthic fish, the researchers revealed that the differentially expressed genes between these two developmental stages are enriched in genes potentially involved in adaptation to a benthic lifestyle. They also identified 15 positively selected genes, which have putative roles in metamorphosis. In addition, they found that the expression levels of rod pigment (rh1) and cone pigment (lws1) genes, which are
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Contact: Jia Liu
liujia@genomics.cn
BGI Shenzhen
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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