Physiological genomics

Expression analysis of sex-determining pathway genes during development in male and female Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

PMID 26330486


We studied the expression of 28 genes that are involved in vertebrate sex-determination or sex-differentiation pathways, in male and female Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) in 11 stages of development from fertilization to after first feeding. Gene expression was measured in half-sibs that shared the same dam. The sire of family 1 was a sex-reversed female (i.e., genetically female but phenotypically male), and so the progeny of this family are all female. The sire of family 2 was a true male, and so the offspring were 50% male and 50% female. Gene expression levels were compared among three groups: 20 female offspring of the cross between a regular female and the sex-reversed female (family 1, first group), ∼ 10 females from the cross between a regular female and a regular male (family 2, second group) and ∼ 10 males from this same family (family 2, third group). Statistically significant differences in expression levels between males and the two groups of females were observed for two genes, gsdf and amh/mis, in the last four developmental stages examined. SdY, the sex-determining gene in rainbow trout, appeared to be expressed in males from 58 days postfertilization (dpf). Starting at 83 dpf, ovarian aromatase, cyp19a, expression appeared to be greater in both groups of females compared with males, but this difference was not statistically significant. The time course of expression suggests that sdY may be involved in the upregulation of gsdf and amh/mis and the subsequent repression of cyp19a in males via the effect of amh/mis.