Genomic characterization of the Atlantic cod sex-locus
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonScientific Reports. 2016, 6 1-9. 10.1038/srep31235
A variety of sex determination mechanisms can be observed in evolutionary divergent teleosts. Sex determination is genetic in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua), however the genomic location or size of its sex-locus is unknown. Here, we characterize the sex-locus of Atlantic cod using whole genome sequence (WGS) data of 227 wild-caught specimens. Analyzing more than 55 million polymorphic loci, we identify 166 loci that are associated with sex. These loci are located in six distinct regions on fve diferent linkage groups (LG) in the genome. The largest of these regions, an approximately 55Kb region on LG11, contains the majority of genotypes that segregate closely according to a XX-XY system. Genotypes in this region can be used genetically determine sex, whereas those in the other regions are inconsistently sex-linked. The identifed region on LG11 and its surrounding genes have no clear sequence homology with genes or regulatory elements associated with sex-determination or diferentiation in other species. The functionality of this sex-locus therefore remains unknown. The WGS strategy used here proved adequate for detecting the small regions associated with sex in this species. Our results highlight the evolutionary fexibility in genomic architecture underlying teleost sexdetermination and allow practical applications to genetically sex Atlantic cod.