Diversity and evolution of sex determination systems in terrestrial isopods.

Abstract : Sex determination systems are highly variable in many taxa, sometimes even between closely related species. Yet the number and direction of transitions between these systems have seldom been characterized, and the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here we generated transcriptomes for 19 species of terrestrial isopod crustaceans, many of which are infected by Wolbachia bacterial endosymbionts. Using 88 single-copy orthologous genes, we reconstructed a fully resolved and dated phylogeny of terrestrial isopods. An original approach involving crossings of sex-reversed individuals allowed us to characterize the heterogametic systems of five species (one XY/XX and four ZW/ZZ). Mapping of these and previously known heterogametic systems onto the terrestrial isopod phylogeny revealed between 3 and 13 transitions of sex determination systems during the evolution of these taxa, most frequently from female to male heterogamety. Our results support that WW individuals are viable in many species, suggesting sex chromosomes are at an incipient stage of their evolution. Together, these data are consistent with the hypothesis that nucleo-cytoplasmic conflicts generated by Wolbachia endosymbionts triggered recurrent turnovers of sex determination systems in terrestrial isopods. They further establish terrestrial isopods as a model to study evolutionary transitions in sex determination systems and pave the way to molecularly characterize these systems.
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Contributor : Laurence Belligot <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 6, 2017 - 2:43:19 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 3:40:04 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-01533436, version 1
  • PUBMED : 28439127



Thomas Becking, Isabelle Giraud, Maryline Raimond, Bouziane Moumen, Christopher Chandler, et al.. Diversity and evolution of sex determination systems in terrestrial isopods.. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (1), pp.1084. ⟨hal-01533436⟩



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