Males and females share the same genome, thus phenotypic divergence requires differential gene expression and sex-specific regulation. Accordingly, the analysis of expression patterns is pivotal to the understanding of sex-determination mechanisms. Many bivalves are stable gonochoric species but the mechanism of gonad sexualization and the genes involved are still unknown. Moreover, during the period of sexual rest, gonad is not present and sex cannot be determined. A mechanism associated with germ line differentiation in some bivalves, including the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum, is the Doubly Uniparental Inheritance (DUI) of mitochondria, a variation of Strict Maternal Inheritance (SMI). Two mitochondrial lineages are present, one transmitted through eggs, the other through sperm, as well as a mother-dependent sex bias of the progeny. We produced a de novo annotation of 17,186 transcripts from R. philippinarum and compared the transcriptomes of males and females, and identified 1,575 genes with strong sex-specific expression and 166 sex-specific SNPs, obtaining preliminary information about genes that could be involved in sex determination. Then we compared the transcriptomes between a family producing predominantly females and a family producing predominantly males to identify candidate genes involved in regulation of sex-specific aspects of DUI system, finding a relationship between sex bias and differential expression of several ubiquitination genes. In mammalian embryos sperm mitochondria are degraded by ubiquitination. A modification of this mechanism is hypothesized to be responsible for the retention of sperm mitochondria in male embryos of DUI species. Ubiquitination can additionally regulate gene expression, playing a role in sex determination of several animals. These data enable us to develop a model that incorporates both the DUI literature and our new findings.

De Novo Assembly of the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum Transcriptome Provides New Insights into Expression Bias, Mitochondrial Doubly Uniparental Inheritance and Sex Determination.

GHISELLI, FABRIZIO;MILANI, LILIANA;PASSAMONTI, MARCO
2012

Abstract

Males and females share the same genome, thus phenotypic divergence requires differential gene expression and sex-specific regulation. Accordingly, the analysis of expression patterns is pivotal to the understanding of sex-determination mechanisms. Many bivalves are stable gonochoric species but the mechanism of gonad sexualization and the genes involved are still unknown. Moreover, during the period of sexual rest, gonad is not present and sex cannot be determined. A mechanism associated with germ line differentiation in some bivalves, including the Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum, is the Doubly Uniparental Inheritance (DUI) of mitochondria, a variation of Strict Maternal Inheritance (SMI). Two mitochondrial lineages are present, one transmitted through eggs, the other through sperm, as well as a mother-dependent sex bias of the progeny. We produced a de novo annotation of 17,186 transcripts from R. philippinarum and compared the transcriptomes of males and females, and identified 1,575 genes with strong sex-specific expression and 166 sex-specific SNPs, obtaining preliminary information about genes that could be involved in sex determination. Then we compared the transcriptomes between a family producing predominantly females and a family producing predominantly males to identify candidate genes involved in regulation of sex-specific aspects of DUI system, finding a relationship between sex bias and differential expression of several ubiquitination genes. In mammalian embryos sperm mitochondria are degraded by ubiquitination. A modification of this mechanism is hypothesized to be responsible for the retention of sperm mitochondria in male embryos of DUI species. Ubiquitination can additionally regulate gene expression, playing a role in sex determination of several animals. These data enable us to develop a model that incorporates both the DUI literature and our new findings.
MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND EVOLUTION
Ghiselli F.; Milani L.; Chang P.L.; Hedgecock D.; Davis J.P.; Nuzhdin S.V.; Passamonti M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/105671
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