News & Views
Genetics of gender in Gadus morhua
By Matt Jones
By Matt Jones
New genetic-mapping research at the University of Oslo has succeeded in tracking down the likely location of gender-determining genes in Atlantic cod.
The report notes that until now it has not been possible to locate the sex-determining genes of Atlantic cod, but now it’s possible by the development of new gene-sequencing technology at the university. This has been a priority since the cod’s genome was first sequenced five years ago.
In the present study, the complete genome sequence of more than 200 Atlantic cod was used to investigate the genetic difference between the males and the females “in great detail.” A total of six different genes were linked statistically to the gender of the individual fish being studied. “However,” says the statement, “it is only a small, single gene on chromosome 11 that can be used consistently to accurately predict gender.”
UOslo scientist Bastiaan Star (a member of the team) is quoted as saying, “The gene is perhaps coding for a very small protein or is regulating another gene, but so far this gene is not known in any [other] fish we know of, so we have no idea of what it does…We still have to find out the biological mechanism and what we can use this for.”
Star also added that knowing the gene’s location is a good starting point.