Sexual development involves the successive and overlapping processes of sex determination, sexual differentiation, and ultimately sexual maturation, enabling animals to reproduce. This provides a mechanism for enriched genetic variation which enables populations to withstand ever-changing environments, selecting for adapted individuals and driving speciation. The molecular mechanisms of sexual development display a bewildering diversity, even in closely related taxa. Many sex determination mechanisms across animals include the key family of “doublesex- and male abnormal3-related transcription factors” (Dmrts). In a few exceptional species, a single Dmrt residing on a sex chromosome acts as the master sex regulator. In this study, we provide compelling evidence for this model of sex determination in the ornate spiny lobster Panulius ornatus, concurrent with recent reports in the eastern spiny lobster Sagmariasus verreauxi. Using a multi-tissue transcriptomic database established for P. ornatus, we screened for the key factors associated with sexual development (by homology search and using previous knowledge of these factors from related species), providing an in-depth understanding of sexual development in decapods. Further research has the potential to close significant gaps in our understanding of reproductive development in this ecologically and commercially significant order. © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
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Ventura, T., Chandler, J.C., Nguyen, T.V., Hyde, C.J., Elizur, A., Fitzgibbon, Q.P. & Smith, G.G. 2020, "Multi-tissue transcriptome analysis identifies key sexual development-related genes of the ornate spiny lobster (Panulirus ornatus)", Genes, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 1-17.
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