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Aquat Toxicol June 1, 2010; 98 (1): 60-6.

Genotyping sex in the amphibian, Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis, for endocrine disruptor bioassays.

Olmstead AW , Lindberg-Livingston A , Degitz SJ .

Endocrine disrupting compounds have been shown to alter gonad differentiation in both male and female individuals in amphibian, avian, fish, invertebrate, and reptile species. In some cases, these affected individuals are completely sex reversed and are morphologically indistinguishable from normal individuals of the opposite sex. Detecting shifts in sex ratios following chemical exposure often requires large numbers of organisms to achieve the necessary statistical power, especially in those species with genetic sex determination and homomorphic sex chromosomes (such as amphibians and many fish). The ability to assess the genetic sex of individuals would allow for detection of sex reversal (genotype-phenotype mismatches) that have greater statistical power compared to examining changes in sex ratios. Utilizing amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs), we developed a method for genotyping sex in the amphibian, Xenopus (Silurana) tropicalis, that can be incorporated into endocrine disruptor screening assays that examine the effects of chemicals on gonad differentiation. AFLPs from 512 primer pairs were assessed in one spawn of X. tropicalis. Each primer pair yielded, on average, 100 fragments. In total 17 sex-linked AFLPs were identified, isolated, and sequenced. A recombination map of these AFLPs was generated using over 300 individuals with four AFLPs having a recombination rate of 0% with regard to sex. A BLASTn search of the X. tropicalis genome using these AFLP sequences resulted in identification of sex-linked scaffolds. Areas of these scaffolds were searched for additional polymorphisms that could be utilized for genotyping sex. Retrospective and prospective strategies for incorporating genotyping sex in endocrine disruptor bioassays with X. tropicalis were developed. A Monte Carlo simulation comparing analyzing data as sex ratio shifts versus assessment of sex reversal using genotyping demonstrates the increase in statistical power that can be obtained by genotyping sex in studies dealing with altered gonad differentiation. This approach to identifying sex-linked markers and developing sex genotyping methods is applicable to other species with genetic sex determination.

PubMed ID: 20202696
Article link: Aquat Toxicol

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