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Heredity (Edinb). 2004 Jun;92(6):543-9.

Two unlinked loci controlling the sex of blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus).

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Hubbard Center for Genome Studies, Suite 400, Environmental Technology Building, 35 Colovos Road, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA.


Sex determination in the blue tilapia (Oreochromis aureus) is thought to be a WZ-ZZ (female heterogametic) system controlled by a major gene. We searched for DNA markers linked to this major gene using the technique of bulked segregant analysis. We identified 11 microsatellite markers on linkage group 3 which were linked to phenotypic sex. The putative W chromosome haplotype correctly predicts the sex of 97% of male and 85% of female individuals. Our results suggest the W locus lies within a few centimorgans of markers GM354, UNH168, GM271 and UNH131. Markers on LG1 also showed a strong association with sex, and indicate the segregation of a male-determining allele in this region. Analysis of epistatic interactions among the loci suggests the action of a dominant male repressor (the W haplotype on LG 3) and a dominant male determiner (the Y haplotype on LG1). These markers have immediate utility for studying the strength of different sex chromosome alleles, and for identifying broodstock carrying copies of the W haplotype.

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