DOI: 10.1101/481143Dec 3, 2018Paper

Stress, novel sex genes and epigenetic reprogramming orchestrate socially-controlled sex change

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Erica V ToddNeil J Gemmell


Bluehead wrasses undergo dramatic, socially-cued female to male sex change. We apply transcriptomic and methylome approaches in this wild coral reef fish to identify the primary trigger and subsequent molecular cascade of gonadal metamorphosis. Our data suggest that the environmental stimulus is exerted via the stress axis, that repression of the aromatase gene (encoding the enzyme converting androgens to estrogens) triggers a cascaded collapse of feminizing gene expression, and identifies notable sex-specific gene neofunctionalization. Furthermore, sex change involves distinct epigenetic reprogramming and an intermediate state with altered epigenetic machinery expression akin to the early developmental cells of mammals. These findings reveal at a molecular level how a normally committed developmental process remains plastic and is reversed to completely alter organ structures.

Related Concepts

Enzyme Repression
Gene Activation
Gene Expression
Biological Metamorphosis
Neuronal Plasticity

Related Feeds

BioRxiv & MedRxiv Preprints

BioRxiv and MedRxiv are the preprint servers for biology and health sciences respectively, operated by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Here are the latest preprint articles (which are not peer-reviewed) from BioRxiv and MedRxiv.