Sex determination in fish

Sheldon McKay smckay at
Wed Mar 25 20:01:21 EST 1998

Dr. P Pontarotti wrote:

> Hello, I am preety sure that sex is not genetically determined in fish
> like in reptile. Moreover some fishes  change sex during
> their life.

    I'm not sure about fish in general, but sex is genetically determined
in salmonids.  They use X/Y chromosomal sex determination much like
mammals.  Sex determination is fairly plastic in that the gender of
developing embryos can be manipulated by hormone treatments.  In fact, this
property is exploited in salmon aquaculture by sex-reversing chromosomal
(XX) females so that their sperm can be used to fertilize eggs from normal
females to produce all female broods.

In response to the original post:

> Does anyone know whether PCR primers have been developed for the
> determination of sex in fish? If you know of a good newsgroup to ask
> this question, I'd appreciate suggestions. Thanks for your attention.
> --
> Shiao Y. Wang
> University of Southern Mississippi

Such primers have been developed for pacific salmon species:

A rapid PCR-based test for Y-chromosomal DNA allows simple
production of all-female strains of chinook salmon

Devlin, RH; McNeil, BK; Solar, II; Donaldson, EM
AQUACULTURE, vol. 128, no. 314, pp. 211-220, 1994

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