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Journal of Oceanology and Limnology

, Volume 36, Issue 6, pp 2337–2350 | Cite as

Pf-Dmrt4, a potential factor in sexual development in the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata

  • Qi Wang (王琦)
  • Yu Shi (石禹)
  • Maoxian He (何毛贤)
Article
  • 12 Downloads

Abstract

The mechanisms of sex determination and sex differentiation in the pearl oyster Pinctada fucata are currently poorly understood. We therefore investigated the roles of orthologs of the Dmrt gene family, key players in male gonad differentiation in mammals, in P. fucata sex differentiation and sexual development. Pf-Dmrt4 exhibits features typical of the D mrt family, and displays significant homologies to the DMRT4 cluster. Pf-Dmrt4 mRNA expression in the gonads during a gametogenic cycle, measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, was maximal in mature individuals. Pf-Dmrt4 expression, demonstrated by in situ hybridization, was localized in the spermatozoa, spermatids, oocytes and vitellogenic oocytes. Knockdown of Pf-Dmrt4 with double-stranded RNA resulted in decreased mRNA expression levels. And Pf-Dmrt4-dsRNA-injected groups showed spawning-stage male gonads, with ruptured follicles and released spermatozoa. Our results enhance the understanding of sex determination and differentiation in P. fucata and suggest that Pf-Dmrt4 could be involved in male gonadal development, and maintenance of male gonadal function.

Keyword

Pinctada fucata Pf-Dmrt4 gene expression sexual development 

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Copyright information

© Chinese Society for Oceanology and Limnology, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Wang (王琦)
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yu Shi (石禹)
    • 1
  • Maoxian He (何毛贤)
    • 1
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Marine Bio-resources and Ecology, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Marine Biology, South China Sea Institute of OceanologyChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Taiyuan University of TechnologyTaiyuanChina

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