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Dev Dyn. 2007 Apr;236(4):1055-63.

Expression of Sox9, Mis, and Dmrt1 in the gonad of a species with temperature-dependent sex determination.

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Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.


Sex determination in vertebrates, the process of forming an ovary or testis from a bipotential gonad, can be initiated by genetic or environmental factors. Elements of the downstream molecular pathways underlying these different sex-determining mechanisms have been evolutionarily conserved. We find the first evidence that Sox9 expression is preferentially organized in the testis early in the temperature-sensitive period in a species with temperature-dependent sex determination (Trachemys scripta). This pattern occurs before sexually dimorphic Mis expression and in a temporal hierarchy that is similar to mammals. Furthermore, we extend previous findings that Dmrt1 expression at early stages of sex determination has a dimorphic pattern consistent with a possible upstream role in determining the fate of the bipotential gonad.

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