Sex determination in vertebrates, the process of forming an ovary or testis from a bipotential gonad, can be initiated by genetic or environmental factors. Elements of the downstream molecular pathways underlying these different sex-determining mechanisms have been evolutionarily conserved. We find the first evidence that Sox9 expression is preferentially organized in the testis early in the temperature-sensitive period in a species with temperature-dependent sex determination (Trachemys scripta). This pattern occurs before sexually dimorphic Mis expression and in a temporal hierarchy that is similar to mammals. Furthermore, we extend previous findings that Dmrt1 expression at early stages of sex determination has a dimorphic pattern consistent with a possible upstream role in determining the fate of the bipotential gonad.
- Temperature-dependent sex determination
- Testis differentiation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology