Some like it dry: Water restriction overrides heterogametic sex determination in two reptiles

Type Article
Date 2019-06
Language English
Author(s) Dupoue AndreazORCID1, Lourdais OlivierORCID2, Meylan Sandrine3, 4, Brischoux Francois2, Angelier Frederic2, Rozen-Rechels David3, Marcangeli Yoan3, Decenciere BeatrizORCID5, Agostini Simon5, Le Galliard Jean-Francois3, 5
Affiliation(s) 1 : CNRS, UMR 5321, Stn Ecol Theor & Expt Moulis, St Girons, France.
2 : CNRS, UMR 7372, ULR, Ctr Etud Biol Chize, Beauvoir Sur Niort, France.
3 : Sorbonne Univ, CNRS, IEES Paris, UMR 7618, Paris, France.
4 : Sorbonne Univ, ESPE Paris, Paris, France.
5 : PSL Res Univ, CNRS, Dept Biol,Ecole Normale Super, Ctr Rech Ecol Expt & Predict CEREEP Ecotron IleDe, St Pierre Les Nemours, France.
Source Ecology And Evolution (2045-7758) (Wiley), 2019-06 , Vol. 9 , N. 11 , P. 6524-6533
DOI 10.1002/ece3.5229
WOS© Times Cited 16
Keyword(s) dehydration, early growth, gestation, heterogamety, sex determination, sex ratio, sex reversal, survival

The evolution of sex determination is complex and yet crucial in our understanding of population stability. In ectotherms, sex determination involves a variety of mechanisms including genetic determination (GSD), environment determination (ESD), but also interactions between the two via sex reversal. In this study, we investigated whether water deprivation during pregnancy could override GSD in two heterogametic squamate reptiles. We demonstrated that water restriction in early gestation induced a male-biased secondary sex ratio in both species, which could be explained by water sex reversal as the more likely mechanism. We further monitored some long-term fitness estimates of offspring, which suggested that water sex determination (WSD) represented a compensatory strategy producing the rarest sex according to Fisher's assumptions of frequency-dependent selection models. This study provides new insights into sex determination modes and calls for a general investigation of mechanisms behind WSD and to examine the evolutionary implications.

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Dupoue Andreaz, Lourdais Olivier, Meylan Sandrine, Brischoux Francois, Angelier Frederic, Rozen-Rechels David, Marcangeli Yoan, Decenciere Beatriz, Agostini Simon, Le Galliard Jean-Francois (2019). Some like it dry: Water restriction overrides heterogametic sex determination in two reptiles. Ecology And Evolution, 9(11), 6524-6533. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :