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PLoS Genet. 2009 Feb;5(2):e1000391. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000391. Epub 2009 Feb 20.

Turnover of sex chromosomes in the stickleback fishes (gasterosteidae).

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  • 1Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

Abstract

Diverse sex-chromosome systems are found in vertebrates, particularly in teleost fishes, where different systems can be found in closely related species. Several mechanisms have been proposed for the rapid turnover of sex chromosomes, including the transposition of an existing sex-determination gene, the appearance of a new sex-determination gene on an autosome, and fusions between sex chromosomes and autosomes. To better understand these evolutionary transitions, a detailed comparison of sex chromosomes between closely related species is essential. Here, we used genetic mapping and molecular cytogenetics to characterize the sex-chromosome systems of multiple stickleback species (Gasterosteidae). Previously, we demonstrated that male threespine stickleback fish (Gasterosteus aculeatus) have a heteromorphic XY pair corresponding to linkage group (LG) 19. In this study, we found that the ninespine stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) has a heteromorphic XY pair corresponding to LG12. In black-spotted stickleback (G. wheatlandi) males, one copy of LG12 has fused to the LG19-derived Y chromosome, giving rise to an X(1)X(2)Y sex-determination system. In contrast, neither LG12 nor LG19 is linked to sex in two other species: the brook stickleback (Culaea inconstans) and the fourspine stickleback (Apeltes quadracus). However, we confirmed the existence of a previously reported heteromorphic ZW sex-chromosome pair in the fourspine stickleback. The sex-chromosome diversity that we have uncovered in sticklebacks provides a rich comparative resource for understanding the mechanisms that underlie the rapid turnover of sex-chromosome systems.

PMID:
19229325
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2638011
Free PMC Article

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