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Genome Res. 2003 Feb;13(2):272-80.

Comparative genome analysis of the primary sex-determining locus in salmonid fishes.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1.


We compared the Y-chromosome linkage maps for four salmonid species (Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus; Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar; brown trout, Salmo trutta; and rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss) and a putative Y-linked marker from lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush). These species represent the three major genera within the subfamily Salmoninae of the Salmonidae. The data clearly demonstrate that different Y-chromosomes have evolved in each of the species. Arrangements of markers proximal to the sex-determining locus are preserved on homologous, but different, autosomal linkage groups across the four species studied in detail. This indicates that a small region of DNA has been involved in the rearrangement of the sex-determining region. Placement of the sex-determining region appears telomeric in brown trout, Atlantic salmon, and Arctic charr, whereas an intercalary location for SEX may exist in rainbow trout. Three hypotheses are proposed to account for the relocation: translocation of a small chromosome arm; transposition of the sex-determining gene; or differential activation of a primary sex-determining gene region among the species.

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