Offspring Sex in a Lizard Depends on Egg Size

Rajikumar Radder, David Pike, Alex Quinn, Richard Shine

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    40 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Current paradigms may substantially underestimate the complexity of reptilian sex determination. In previous work, we have shown that the sex of a hatchling lizard (Bassiana duperreyi, Scincidae) does not depend entirely on its genes (XX versus XY sex chromosomes); instead, low nest temperatures can override genotype to produce XX as well as XY males [1, 2, 3]. Our experimental studies now add a third mechanism to this list: sex determination via yolk allocation to the egg. Within each clutch, the eggs that produce daughters are larger than those that produce sons. If (and only if) eggs are incubated at low temperatures, removing yolk from a newly laid egg turns the offspring into a male. Adding yolk from a larger (but not smaller) egg turns the recipient egg's offspring into a female. Remarkably, then, offspring sex in this species is the end result of an interaction between three mechanisms: sex chromosomes, nest temperatures, and yolk allocation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-4
    Number of pages4
    JournalCurrent Biology
    Volume19
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Offspring Sex in a Lizard Depends on Egg Size'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this