Identification of the sex-determining locus in the Thai medaka, Oryzias minutillus

Cytogenet Genome Res. 2008;121(2):137-42. doi: 10.1159/000125839. Epub 2008 Jun 9.


A sex-determining gene, DMY, which is comparable to the SRY gene in mammals, has been identified in the medaka, Oryzias latipes. Although Oryzias curvinotus, a closely related species to O. latipes also has DMY, this gene has not been found in other Oryzias fishes. It has recently been demonstrated that the sex chromosomes of Oryzias dancena and Oryzias hubbsi differ from those of O. latipes and these species have XX/XY and ZZ/ZW systems, respectively. This may suggest that Oryzias species have evolved different sex-determining genes on different sex chromosomes. In the present study, we investigated the sex determination mechanism in Oryzias minutillus, which is closely related to O. dancena and O. hubbsi. Linkage analysis using 14 isolated sex-linked DNA markers showed that this species has an XX/XY sex determination system. These sex-linked markers were located on linkage group 8 of O. latipes, suggesting that the sex chromosomes of O. minutillus are homologous to the autosomes of other Oryzias species. Furthermore, fluorescence in situ hybridization using a tightly sex-linked marker demonstrated that the XY sex chromosomes of O. minutillus and O. dancena were not homologous. These findings provide additional evidence for independent origins of sex chromosomes and sex-determining genes in these closely related species.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Artificial, Bacterial / genetics
  • Crosses, Genetic
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Female
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Male
  • Oryzias / classification
  • Oryzias / genetics*
  • Phylogeny
  • Sex Chromosomes / genetics
  • Sex Determination Processes*
  • Species Specificity


  • DNA Primers