Female-only sex-linked amplified fragment length polymorphism markers support ZW/ZZ sex determination in the giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii

Authors

  • Xue-Hui Jiang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Exploration and Utilization of Aquatic Genetic Resources Certificated by Ministry of Education, College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China
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  • Gao-Feng Qiu

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Exploration and Utilization of Aquatic Genetic Resources Certificated by Ministry of Education, College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, Shanghai, China
    • Address for correspondence

      G. -F. Qiu, Key Laboratory of Exploration and Utilization of Aquatic Genetic Resources Certificated by Ministry of Education, College of Fisheries and Life Science, Shanghai Ocean University, 999 Hucheng Huan Road, Shanghai 201306, China.

      E-mail: gfqiu@shou.edu.cn

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Summary

Sex determination mechanisms in many crustacean species are complex and poorly documented. In the giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii, a ZW/ZZ sex determination system was previously proposed based on sex ratio data obtained by crosses of sex-reversed females (neomales). To provide molecular evidence for the proposed system, novel sex-linked molecular markers were isolated in this species. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) using 64 primer combinations was employed to screen prawn genomes for DNA markers linked with sex loci. Approximately 8400 legible fragments were produced, 13 of which were uniquely identified in female prawns with no indication of corresponding male-specific markers. These AFLP fragments were reamplified, cloned and sequenced, producing two reliable female-specific sequence characterized amplified region (SCAR) markers. Additional individuals from two unrelated geographic populations were used to verify these findings, confirming female-specific amplification of single bands. Detection of internal polymorphic sites was conducted by designing new primer pairs based on these internal fragments. The internal SCAR fragments also displayed specificity in females, indicating high levels of variation between female and male specimens. The distinctive feature of female-linked SCAR markers can be applied for rapid detection of prawn gender. These sex-specific SCAR markers and sex-associated AFLP candidates unique to female specimens support a sex determination system consistent with female heterogamety (ZW) and male homogamety (ZZ).

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