A transcriptome derived female-specific marker from the invasive western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis)

Dunja K. Lamatsch, Sofia Adolfsson, Alistair M. Senior, Guntram Christiansen, Maria Pichler, Yuichi Ozaki, Linnea Smeds, Manfred Schartl, Shinichi Nakagawa

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Abstract

Sex-specific markers are a prerequisite for understanding reproductive biology, genetic factors involved in sex differences, mechanisms of sex determination, and ultimately the evolution of sex chromosomes. The Western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, may be considered a model species for sex-chromosome evolution, as it displays female heterogamety (ZW/ZZ), and is also ecologically interesting as a worldwide invasive species. Here, de novo RNA-sequencing on the gonads of sexually mature G. affinis was used to identify contigs that were highly transcribed in females but not in males (i.e., transcripts with ovary-specific expression). Subsequently, 129 primer pairs spanning 79 contigs were tested by PCR to identify sex-specific transcripts. Of those primer pairs, one female-specific DNA marker was identified, Sanger sequenced and subsequently validated in 115 fish. Sequence analyses revealed a high similarity between the identified sex-specific marker and the 3′ UTR of the aminomethyl transferase (amt) gene of the closely related platyfish (Xiphophorus maculatus). This is the first time that RNA-seq has been used to successfully characterize a sexspecific marker in a fish species in the absence of a genome map. Additionally, the identified sex-specific marker represents one of only a handful of such markers in fishes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0118214
JournalPloS one
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 23

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Cite this

Lamatsch, D. K., Adolfsson, S., Senior, A. M., Christiansen, G., Pichler, M., Ozaki, Y., Smeds, L., Schartl, M., & Nakagawa, S. (2015). A transcriptome derived female-specific marker from the invasive western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis). PloS one, 10(2), [e0118214]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118214