Evidence for a genetic sex determination in Cnidaria, the Mediterranean red coral (Coralliumrubrum)

Type Article
Date 2017-03
Language English
Author(s) Pratlong M.1, 2, Haguenauer A.1, Chenesseau S.1, Brener K.3, Mitta GuillaumeORCID3, Toulza E.3, Bonabaud M.4, Rialle S.4, Aurelle D.1, Pontarotti P.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : Aix Marseille Univ, Avignon Univ, CNRS, IRD,IMBE, Marseille, France.
2 : Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Cent Marseille, I2M, Marseille, France.
3 : Perpignan Via Domitia Univ, Univ Montpellier, IFREMER, CNRS,IHPE UMR 5244, Perpignan, France.
4 : UMS BioCampus MGX Montpellier GenomiX, Inst Genom Fonctionelle, 141 Rue Cardonnille, F-34094 Montpellier 05, France.
Source Royal Society Open Science (2054-5703) (Royal Soc), 2017-03 , Vol. 4 , N. 3 , P. 160880 (1-9)
DOI 10.1098/rsos.160880
WOS© Times Cited 8
Note Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3699073.
Keyword(s) genetic sex determination, Corallium rubrum, RAD-sequencing, Cnidaria

dSexual reproduction is widespread among eukaryotes, and the sex-determining processes vary greatly among species. While genetic sex determination (GSD) has been intensively described in bilaterian species, no example has yet been recorded among non-bilaterians. However, the quasi-ubiquitous repartition of GSD among multicellular species suggests that similar evolutionary forces can promote this system, and that these forces could occur also in non-bilaterians. Studying sex determination across the range of Metazoan diversity is indeed important to understand better the evolution of this mechanism and its lability. We tested the existence of sexlinked genes in the gonochoric red coral (Corallium rubrum, Cnidaria) using restriction site-associated DNA sequencing. We analysed 27 461 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 354 individuals from 12 populations including 53 that were morphologically sexed. We found a strong association between the allele frequencies of 472 SNPs and the sex of individuals, suggesting an XX/XY sex-determination system. This result was confirmed by the identification of 435 male-specific loci. An independent test confirmed that the amplification of these loci enabled us to identify males with absolute certainty. This is the first demonstration of a GSD system among non-bilaterian species and a new example of its convergence in multicellular eukaryotes.

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Pratlong M., Haguenauer A., Chenesseau S., Brener K., Mitta Guillaume, Toulza E., Bonabaud M., Rialle S., Aurelle D., Pontarotti P. (2017). Evidence for a genetic sex determination in Cnidaria, the Mediterranean red coral (Coralliumrubrum). Royal Society Open Science, 4(3), 160880 (1-9). Publisher's official version : https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160880 , Open Access version : https://archimer.ifremer.fr/doc/00382/49367/