Evidence for a genetic sex determination in Cnidaria, the Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum)

Abstract : Sexual reproduction is widespread among eukaryotes, and the sex-determining processes vary greatly among species. While genetic sex determination (GSD) has been intensively described in bilaterian species, no example has yet been recorded among non-bilaterians. However, the quasi-ubiquitous repartition of GSD among multicellular species suggests that similar evolutionary forces can promote this system, and that these forces could occur also in non-bilaterians. Studying sex determination across the range of Metazoan diversity is indeed important to understand better the evolution of this mechanism and its lability. We tested the existence of sex-linked genes in the gonochoric red coral (Corallium rubrum, Cnidaria) using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing. We analysed 27 461 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 354 individuals from 12 populations including 53 that were morphologically sexed. We found a strong association between the allele frequencies of 472 SNPs and the sex of individuals, suggesting an XX/XY sex-determination system. This result was confirmed by the identification of 435 male-specific loci. An independent test confirmed that the amplification of these loci enabled us to identify males with absolute certainty. This is the first demonstration of a GSD system among non-bilaterian species and a new example of its convergence in multicellular eukaryotes.
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Marine Pratlong, Anne Haguenauer, Sandrine Chenesseau, P Brener, P Mitta, et al.. Evidence for a genetic sex determination in Cnidaria, the Mediterranean red coral (Corallium rubrum). rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org on, 2017, 4, pp.160880. ⟨http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/3/160880⟩. ⟨10.1098/rsos.160880⟩. ⟨hal-01480527⟩



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