Sex determination without sex chromosomes.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

With or without sex chromosomes, sex determination is a synthesis of many molecular events that drives a community of cells towards a coordinated tissue fate. In this review, we will consider how a sex determination pathway can be engaged and stabilized without an inherited genetic determinant. In many reptilian species, no sex chromosomes have been identified, yet a conserved network of gene expression is initiated. Recent studies propose that epigenetic regulation mediates the effects of temperature on these genes through dynamic post-transcriptional, post-translational and metabolic pathways. It is likely that there is no singular regulator of sex determination, but rather an accumulation of molecular events that shift the scales towards one fate over another until a threshold is reached sufficient to maintain and stabilize one pathway and repress the alternative pathway. Investigations into the mechanism underlying sex determination without sex chromosomes should focus on cellular processes that are frequently activated by multiple stimuli or can synthesize multiple inputs and drive a coordinated response. This article is part of the theme issue 'Challenging the paradigm in sex chromosome evolution: empirical and theoretical insights with a focus on vertebrates (Part I)'.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Weber, C; Capel, B

Published Date

  • August 30, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 376 / 1832

Start / End Page

  • 20200109 -

PubMed ID

  • 34247500

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8273508

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1471-2970

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1098/rstb.2020.0109


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England