Vertebrate sex-determining genes play musical chairs

Translated title of the contribution: Vertebrate sex-determining genes play musical chairs

Qiaowei Pan, Jennifer Anderson, Sylvain Bertho, Amaury Herpin, Catherine Wilson, John H. Postlethwait, Manfred Schartl, Yann Guiguen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Sexual reproduction is one of the most highly conserved processes in evolution. However, the genetic and cellular mechanisms making the decision of whether the undifferentiated gonad of animal embryos develops either towards male or female are manifold and quite diverse. In vertebrates, sex-determining mechanisms range from environmental to simple or complex genetic mechanisms and different mechanisms have evolved repeatedly and independently. In species with simple genetic sex-determination, master sex-determining genes lying on sex chromosomes drive the gonadal differentiation process by switching on a developmental program, which ultimately leads to testicular or ovarian differentiation. So far, very few sex-determining genes have been identified in vertebrates and apart from mammals and birds, these genes are apparently not conserved over a larger number of related orders, families, genera, or even species. To fill this knowledge gap and to better explore genetic sex-determination, we propose a strategy (RAD-Sex) that makes use of next-generation sequencing technology to identify genetic markers that define sex-specific segments of the male or female genome.

Translated title of the contributionVertebrate sex-determining genes play musical chairs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-262
Number of pages5
JournalComptes Rendus - Biologies
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Evolution
  • Fish
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Sex-determination
  • Vertebrates


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