Development of PCR‐Based Markers to Determine the Sex of Kelps

Abstract : Sex discriminating genetic markers are commonly used to facilitate breeding programs in economically and ecologically important animal and plant species. However, despite their considerable economic and ecological value, the development of sex markers for kelp species has been very limited. In this study, we used the recently described sequence of the sex determining region (SDR) of the brown algal model Ectocarpus to develop novel DNA-based sex-markers for three commercially relevant kelps: Laminaria digitata, Undaria pinna-tifida and Macrocystis pyrifera. Markers were designed within nine protein coding genes of Ectocarpus male and female (U/V) sex chromosomes and tested on gametophytes of the three kelp species. Seven primer pairs corresponding to three loci in the Ectocarpus SDR amplified sex-specific bands in the three kelp species, yielding at least one male and one female marker for each species. Our work has generated the first male sex-specific markers for L. digitata and U. pinnatifida, as well as the first sex markers developed for the genus Macrocystis. The markers and methodology presented here will not only facilitate seaweed breeding programs but also represent useful tools for population and demography studies and provide a means to investigate the evolution of sex determination across this largely understudied eukaryotic group.
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Agnieszka Lipinska, Sophia Ahmed, Akira F Peters, Sylvain Faugeron, J. Mark Cock, et al.. Development of PCR‐Based Markers to Determine the Sex of Kelps. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (10), pp.e0140535. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0140535⟩. ⟨hal-01226462⟩

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