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MEPS prepress abstract   -  DOI:

Sex chromosomes and sex-specific molecular markers in Indo-Pacific combtooth blennies (Blenniidae, Istiblennius)

Peter J. Hundt*, Emma B. Liddle, Stuart V. Nielsen. , Brendan J. Pinto, Tony Gamble

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Sex-specific genetic markers, markers found in one sex but not the other, can be used to recognize a species’ sex chromosome system in cases where traditional karyotyping fails. Species with male-specific markers have an XX/XY system while species with female-specific markers have a ZZ/ZW system. Here, we used data from restriction site-associated DNA sequencing, or RADseq, from two species of combtooth blenny, Istiblennius lineatus and Istiblennius steindachneri, to identify an excess of female-specific genetic markers, which points to ZZ/ZW sex chromosomes. We used PCR to validate the sex-specificity of one of these female-specific RAD markers in an additional Istiblennius species, I. edentulus. We observed no sex-specific PCR amplification in two other Istiblennius species and two Blenniella species. This Istiblennius ZZ/ZW system, when combined with cytogenetic data from the literature illustrating an XX/XY system in Parablennius, establishes a transition between sex chromosome systems within Blenniidae.