Host: Darcy Kelley
Title: Rapid evolution of genetic sex determiniation in frogs
Abstract: In many species, sexual differentiation is crucial for reproduction and it is therefore surprising when the genetic control of this fundamental process evolves rapidly. We have identified newly emergent sex chromosomes in several closely related amphibian species, and explored how patterns of recombination and gene expression vary among species and between the sexes. Our results demonstrate that novel triggers for sex determination can arise in rapid succession, and identify genomic regions linked to sex determination that are homologous to sex-linked regions in other very distantly related species, including humans. The implications of this work are to inform us about how tightly regulated systems evolve, and to provide links between individual genes that trigger sex determination and the evolution of entire sex chromosomes on which they reside.