Insights into teleost sex determination from the Seriola dorsalis genome assembly

Severin, Andrew
Purcell, Catherine
Seetharam, Arun
Snodgrass, Owyn
Ortega-García, Sofia
Seetharam, Arun
Hyde, John
Severin, Andrew
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Office of Biotechnology
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Genome Informatics Facility
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Office of BiotechnologyGenome Informatics Facility

Background: The assembly and annotation of a genome is a valuable resource for a species, with applications ranging from conservation genomics to gene discovery. Genomic resource development is especially important for species in culture, such as the California Yellowtail (Seriola dorsalis), the likely candidate for the establishment of commercial offshore aquaculture production in southern California. Genomic resource development for this species will improve the understanding of sex and other phenotypic traits, and allow for rapid increases in genetic improvement for and economic gain in culture production.

Results: We describe the assembly and annotation of the S. dorsalis genome, and present resequencing data from 45 male and 45 female wild-caught S. dorsalis used to identify a sex-determining region and marker in this species. The genome assembly captured approximately 93% of the total 685 MB genome with an average coverage depth of 180×. Using the assembled genome, resequencing data from the 90 fish were aligned to place boundaries on the sex-determining region. Sex-specific markers were developed based on a female-specific, 61 nucleotide deletion identified in that region. We hypothesize that Estradiol 17-beta-dehydrogenase is the putative sex-determining gene and propose a plausible genetic mechanism for ZW sex determination in S. dorsalis involving a female-specific deletion of a transcription factor binding motif that may be targeted by Sox3.

Conclusions: Understanding the mechanism of sex determination and development of assays to determine sex is critical both for management of wild fisheries and for development of efficient and sustainable aquaculture practices. In addition, this genome assembly for S. dorsalis will be a substantial resource for a variety of future research applications.


This article is published as Purcell, Catherine M., Arun S. Seetharam, Owyn Snodgrass, Sofia Ortega-García, John R. Hyde, and Andrew J. Severin. "Insights into teleost sex determination from the Seriola dorsalis genome assembly." BMC Genomics 19, no. 1 (2018): 31. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-4403-1. Posted with permission.