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Sex biased expression of anti-Mullerian hormone (amh) gene in a live bearing fish, Gambusia holbrooki: evolutionary implications and potential role in sex differentiation

Kwan, TN ORCID: 0000-0003-4222-1875 and Patil, JG 2019 , 'Sex biased expression of anti-Mullerian hormone (amh) gene in a live bearing fish, Gambusia holbrooki: evolutionary implications and potential role in sex differentiation' , Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B, vol. 231 , pp. 59-66 , doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2019.02.004.

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Abstract

The amh, a member of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) family, is known to play a critical role in vertebrate male sex differentiation, with its paralogue/s evolving to determine sex in few heterogametic (XX/XY) teleosts. However, it remains relatively unexplored in the reproductively unique live bearing teleosts. Therefore, this study comparatively examined the structure and content of G. holbrooki amh as well as characterised its expression. A paralogous Y-specific amh (amhy) was not detected, suggesting an unlikely role in sex determination. Two transcripts (1.4 and 1.5 kb) were detected in adults: the larger (1.5 kb) retaining intron 5, coding for a truncated AMH-N and no TGF-β domain. The small (1.4 kb) transcript, had both domains intact and clustered with members of Poeciliidae. In contrast to other vertebrates, a higher conservation between the N- rather than the C- terminus of amh in Poeciliidae was observed, suggesting an adaptation that may be unique to live bearing teleosts. The amh expression was 6 times higher in brain of both sexes and testis compared with ovaries (p = .001). Intriguingly, female splenic tissues showed 10 times higher expression (p = .006) and such female bias splenic expression has not been reported in any teleosts. Ontogenic expression was 25 times higher in male embryos at gastrulation stage (p = .001), much earlier than those reported in egg-laying teleosts. Such heightened expression in male embryos suggests a repressive role associated with proliferation and migration of primordial germ cells (PGCs) that are known to occur earlier at blastulation in teleosts—potentially influencing gonadal fate.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kwan, TN and Patil, JG
Keywords: reproduction, ontogeny, gene expression, blastulation, spleen, gonad
Journal or Publication Title: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part B
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 1096-4959
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2019.02.004
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 Elsevier Inc.

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