Evolutionary transitions between mechanisms of sex determination in vertebrates

Alexander Quinn, Stephen Sarre, Tariq Ezaz, Jenny Marshall Graves, Arthur Georges

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    52 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Sex in many organisms is a dichotomous phenotypeâ¿¿individuals are either male or female. The molecular pathways underlying sex determination are governed by the genetic contribution of parents to the zygote, the environment in which the zygote develops or interaction of the two, depending on the species. Systems in which multiple interacting influences or a continuously varying influence (such as temperature) determines a dichotomous outcome have at least one threshold. We show that when sex is viewed as a threshold trait, evolution in that threshold can permit novel transitions between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and remarkably, between male (XX/XY) and female (ZZ/ZW) heterogamety. Transitions are possible without substantive genotypic innovation of novel sex-determining mutations or transpositions, so that the master sex gene and sex chromosome pair can be retained in ZWâ¿¿XY transitions. We also show that evolution in the threshold can explain all observed patterns in vertebrate TSD, when coupled with evolution in embryonic survivorship limits.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)443-448
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiology Letters
    Volume7
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Fingerprint

    Vertebrates
    vertebrates
    gender
    Zygote
    zygote
    Temperature
    Sex Determination Processes
    Sex Chromosomes
    temperature
    transposition (genetics)
    sex chromosomes
    survival rate
    Mutation
    mutation
    organisms
    Genes
    genes

    Cite this

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    title = "Evolutionary transitions between mechanisms of sex determination in vertebrates",
    abstract = "Sex in many organisms is a dichotomous phenotype{\^a}¿¿individuals are either male or female. The molecular pathways underlying sex determination are governed by the genetic contribution of parents to the zygote, the environment in which the zygote develops or interaction of the two, depending on the species. Systems in which multiple interacting influences or a continuously varying influence (such as temperature) determines a dichotomous outcome have at least one threshold. We show that when sex is viewed as a threshold trait, evolution in that threshold can permit novel transitions between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and remarkably, between male (XX/XY) and female (ZZ/ZW) heterogamety. Transitions are possible without substantive genotypic innovation of novel sex-determining mutations or transpositions, so that the master sex gene and sex chromosome pair can be retained in ZW{\^a}¿¿XY transitions. We also show that evolution in the threshold can explain all observed patterns in vertebrate TSD, when coupled with evolution in embryonic survivorship limits.",
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    author = "Alexander Quinn and Stephen Sarre and Tariq Ezaz and {Marshall Graves}, Jenny and Arthur Georges",
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    doi = "10.1098/rsbl.2010.1126",
    language = "English",
    volume = "7",
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    Evolutionary transitions between mechanisms of sex determination in vertebrates. / Quinn, Alexander; Sarre, Stephen; Ezaz, Tariq; Marshall Graves, Jenny; Georges, Arthur.

    In: Biology Letters, Vol. 7, No. 3, 2011, p. 443-448.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Evolutionary transitions between mechanisms of sex determination in vertebrates

    AU - Quinn, Alexander

    AU - Sarre, Stephen

    AU - Ezaz, Tariq

    AU - Marshall Graves, Jenny

    AU - Georges, Arthur

    PY - 2011

    Y1 - 2011

    N2 - Sex in many organisms is a dichotomous phenotypeâ¿¿individuals are either male or female. The molecular pathways underlying sex determination are governed by the genetic contribution of parents to the zygote, the environment in which the zygote develops or interaction of the two, depending on the species. Systems in which multiple interacting influences or a continuously varying influence (such as temperature) determines a dichotomous outcome have at least one threshold. We show that when sex is viewed as a threshold trait, evolution in that threshold can permit novel transitions between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and remarkably, between male (XX/XY) and female (ZZ/ZW) heterogamety. Transitions are possible without substantive genotypic innovation of novel sex-determining mutations or transpositions, so that the master sex gene and sex chromosome pair can be retained in ZWâ¿¿XY transitions. We also show that evolution in the threshold can explain all observed patterns in vertebrate TSD, when coupled with evolution in embryonic survivorship limits.

    AB - Sex in many organisms is a dichotomous phenotypeâ¿¿individuals are either male or female. The molecular pathways underlying sex determination are governed by the genetic contribution of parents to the zygote, the environment in which the zygote develops or interaction of the two, depending on the species. Systems in which multiple interacting influences or a continuously varying influence (such as temperature) determines a dichotomous outcome have at least one threshold. We show that when sex is viewed as a threshold trait, evolution in that threshold can permit novel transitions between genotypic and temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) and remarkably, between male (XX/XY) and female (ZZ/ZW) heterogamety. Transitions are possible without substantive genotypic innovation of novel sex-determining mutations or transpositions, so that the master sex gene and sex chromosome pair can be retained in ZWâ¿¿XY transitions. We also show that evolution in the threshold can explain all observed patterns in vertebrate TSD, when coupled with evolution in embryonic survivorship limits.

    KW - sex differentiation

    KW - temperature-dependent sex determination

    KW - genetic sex determination

    KW - sex chromosome

    KW - geneâ¿¿environment interaction

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    DO - 10.1098/rsbl.2010.1126

    M3 - Article

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    SP - 443

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    JF - Biology Letters

    SN - 1744-9561

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