Turnovers of Sex-Determining Mutation in the Golden Pompano and Related Species Provide Insights into Microevolution of Undifferentiated Sex Chromosome

Genome Biol Evol. 2024 Mar 2;16(3):evae037. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evae037.


The suppression of recombination is considered a hallmark of sex chromosome evolution. However, previous research has identified undifferentiated sex chromosomes and sex determination by single SNP in the greater amberjack (Seriola dumerili). We observed the same phenomena in the golden pompano (Trachinotus ovatus) of the same family Carangidae and discovered a different sex-determining SNP within the same gene Hsd17b1. We propose an evolutionary model elucidating the turnover of sex-determining mutations by highlighting the contrasting dynamics between purifying selection, responsible for maintaining W-linked Hsd17b1, and neutral evolution, which drives Z-linked Hsd17b1. Additionally, sporadic loss-of-function mutations in W-linked Hsd17b1 contribute to the conversion of W chromosomes into Z chromosomes. This model was directly supported by simulations, closely related species, and indirectly by zebrafish mutants. These findings shed new light on the early stages of sex chromosome evolution.

Keywords: alternative splicing; sex chromosome; sex-determining mutation; sex-differential selection; simulation; zebrafish mutant.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Genetic Drift
  • Mutation
  • Perciformes* / genetics
  • Sex Chromosomes / genetics
  • Zebrafish* / genetics