Choosing Sexes

Mechanisms and Adaptive Patterns of Sex Allocation in Vertebrates

  • Kristen J. Navara

Part of the Fascinating Life Sciences book series (FLS)

About this book

Introduction

There is extensive evidence that vertebrates of all classes have the ability to control the sexes of the offspring they produce.  Despite dramatic differences in the mechanisms by which different taxa determine the initial sex of offspring, each group has found its own way of adjusting offspring sex ratios in response to social and environmental cues.  For example, stress is a well-known modulator of offspring sex in members of all groups studied to date. Food availability, and limitation in particular, is another common cue that stimulates biases in offspring sex ratios in a wide variety of species. Offspring sex can be adjusted at the primary level, which occurs prior to conception, or at the secondary level, during embryonic development. While the mechanistic pathways that ultimately result in sex ratio biases and the developmental time-points sensitive to those mechanisms likely differ among taxa, the key involvement of steroid hormones in the process of sex ratio adjustment appears to be pervasive throughout.

This book reviews the systems of sex determination at play in different vertebrate groups, summarizes the evidence that members of all vertebrate taxa can facultatively adjust offspring sex, and discusses when and how these adjustments can take place.

Keywords

Sex allocation Sex changing behaviour Temperature-dependent sex determination Sex determination Adaptive sex allocation

Authors and affiliations

  • Kristen J. Navara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Poultry ScienceThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-71271-0
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing AG 2018
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-71269-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-71271-0
  • Series Print ISSN 2509-6745
  • Series Online ISSN 2509-6753
  • About this book
Industry Sectors
Biotechnology
Pharma