Send to

Choose Destination
Heredity (Edinb). 2013 Mar;110(3):239-46. doi: 10.1038/hdy.2012.73. Epub 2012 Oct 24.

Genetic interactions controlling sex and color establish the potential for sexual conflict in Lake Malawi cichlid fishes.

Author information

School of Biology, Institute of Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.


Sex-determining systems may evolve rapidly and contribute to lineage diversification. In fact, recent work has suggested an integral role of sex chromosome evolution in models of speciation. We use quantitative trait loci analysis of restriction site-associated DNA -tag single nucleotide polymorphisms to identify multiple loci responsible for sex determination and reproductively adaptive color phenotypes in Lake Malawi cichlids. We detect a complex epistatic sex system consisting of a major female heterogametic ZW locus on chromosome 5, two separate male heterogametic XY loci on chromosome 7, and two additional interacting loci on chromosomes 3 and 20. Our data support the known chromosomal linkage between orange blotch color and ZW, as well as novel genetic associations between male blue nuptial color and two sex determining regions (an XY and ZW locus). These results provide further empirical evidence for a complex antagonistic sex-color system in this species flock and suggest a possible role for, and effect of, polygenic sex-determining systems in rapid evolutionary diversification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center