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Sex Dev. 2012;6(5):247-56. doi: 10.1159/000339705. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

First evidence for family-specific QTL for temperature-dependent sex reversal in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus).

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Department of Animal Sciences, Division of Aquaculture and Water Ecology, Göttingen, Germany.


This study for the first time screens microsatellite markers for associations with the temperature-dependent sex of Oreochromis niloticus. Previous studies revealed markers on linkage groups (LG) 1, 3, and 23 to be linked to the phenotypic sex of Oreochromis spp. at normal rearing temperatures. Moreover, candidate genes for sex determination and differentiation have been mapped to these linkage groups. Here, 6 families of a temperature-treated genetically all-female (XX) F(1)-population were genotyped for 21 microsatellites on the 3 LGs. No population-wide QTL (quantitative trait loci) or marker trait associations could be detected. However, family-specific QTL were found on LG 1 flanked by UNH995 and UNH104, on LG 3 at the position of GM213, and on LG 23 next to GM283. Moreover, family-specific single marker associations for UNH995 and UNH104 on LG 1, GM213 on LG 3, as well as for UNH898 and GM283 on LG 23 were detected. Yet, marker trait associations could not explain the temperature-dependent sex of all fish in the respective families. The molecular cue for the temperature-dependent sex in Nile tilapia might partially coincide with allelic variants at major and minor genetic sex determining factors. Moreover, additional QTL contributing to variable liabilities towards temperature might persist on other LGs.

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