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Chromosoma. 1994 Mar;103(1):31-9.

Sex chromosome polymorphism and heterogametic males revealed by two cloned DNA probes in the ZW/ZZ fish Leporinus elongatus.

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Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Laboratoire de Génétique des Poissons, Jouy en Josas, France.


In order to study the divergence of teleost sex chromosomes, subtractive cloning was carried out between genomic DNA of males and females of the rainbow trout (XX/XY) and of Leporinus elongatus (ZW/ZZ). Inserts cloned in a plasmid vector were individually tested on Southern blots of DNA of males and females for sex specificity. No sex-specific insert was obtained from trout, but two out of ten inserts cloned from L. elongatus showed sex-specific patterns in this species: one corresponds to a sequence present on both Z and W chromosomes, while the other is W specific. Sequences of these two inserts show neither clear homology with other known sequences, nor an open reading frame. They cross-hybridize with the genomic DNA of Leporinus friderici, but without sex-specific patterns. Twenty-four L. elongatus adults were sexed by gonadal observation, chromosomed examination and Southern hybridization with one or the other insert. Ten males and 11 females had chromosomes and hybridization patterns typical of their sex. One ZW female was recognized as a male with the W-specific probe. This was also the case for two unusual ZW males, one having a male hybridization pattern with the other probe. These three atypical individuals may result from single genetic exchanges between four regions of the Z and the W, giving rise to three atypical W chromosomes. Finding males with such atypical heterochromosomes in a female heterogametic species may indicate that a gradual transition occurs between the heterogametic systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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