Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

The rise and fall of the ancient northern pike master sex-determining gene

Qiaowei Pan 1, 2 Romain Feron 1, 2, 3 Elodie Jouanno 1 Hugo Darras 2 Amaury Herpin 1 Ben Koop 4 Eric Rondeau 4 Frederick Goetz 5 Wesley Larson 6 Louis Bernatchez 7 Mike Tringali 8, 9 Stephen Curran 10 Eric Saillant 11 Gael Pj Denys 12, 13 Frank von Hippel 14 Songlin Chen 15 J Andrés López 16 Hugo Verreycken 17 Konrad Ocalewicz 18 René Guyomard 19 Camille Eche 20 Jerome Lluch 20 Celine Roques 20 Hongxia Hu 21 Roger Tabor 22 Patrick Dehaan 22 Krista Nichols 5 Laurent Journot 23 Hugues Parrinello 23 Christophe Klopp 24 Elena Interesova 25 Vladimir Trifonov 26 Manfred Schartl 27 John Postlethwait 28 Yann Guiguen 1, *
Abstract : The understanding of the evolution of variable sex determination mechanisms across taxa requires comparative studies among closely related species. Following the fate of a known master sex-determining gene, we traced the evolution of sex determination in an entire teleost order (Esociformes). We discovered that the northern pike (Esox lucius) master sex-determining gene originated from a 65 to 90 million-year-old gene duplication event and that it remained sex linked on undifferentiated sex chromosomes for at least 56 million years in multiple species. We identified several independent species- or population-specific sex determination transitions, including a recent loss of a Y chromosome. These findings highlight the diversity of evolutionary fates of master sex-determining genes and the importance of population demographic history in sex determination studies. We hypothesize that occasional sex reversals and genetic bottlenecks provide a non-adaptive explanation for sex determination transitions.
Document type :
Journal articles
Complete list of metadata
Contributor : Maryse Corvaisier <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 10:50:34 AM
Last modification on : Friday, September 17, 2021 - 2:50:09 PM


Publisher files allowed on an open archive


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Qiaowei Pan, Romain Feron, Elodie Jouanno, Hugo Darras, Amaury Herpin, et al.. The rise and fall of the ancient northern pike master sex-determining gene. eLife, eLife Sciences Publication, 2021, 10, pp.1-30. ⟨10.7554/eLife.62858⟩. ⟨hal-03139073⟩



Record views


Files downloads