Genetics of Sexual Development: An Evolutionary Playground for Fish
Corina Heule, Walter Salzburger, Astrid Böhne

Abstract

Teleost fishes are the most species-rich clade of vertebrates and feature an overwhelming diversity of sex-determining mechanisms, classically grouped into environmental and genetic systems. Here, we review the recent findings in the field of sex determination in fish. In the past few years, several new master regulators of sex determination and other factors involved in sexual development have been discovered in teleosts. These data point toward a greater genetic plasticity in generating the male and female sex than previously appreciated and implicate novel gene pathways in the initial regulation of the sexual fate. Overall, it seems that sex determination in fish does not resort to a single genetic cascade but is rather regulated along a continuum of environmental and heritable factors.

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