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Animals (Basel) November 18, 2020; 10 (11):

Sex Determination in Two Species of Anuran Amphibians by Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Ultrasound Techniques.

Ruiz-Fernández MJ , Jiménez S , Fernández-Valle E , García-Real MI , Castejón D , Moreno N , Ardiaca M , Montesinos A , Ariza S , González-Soriano J .

The objective of the present study was to evaluate whether gender determination in two amphibian species (Kaloula pulchra and Xenopus laevis) can be reliably carried out by means of magnetic resonance imaging (benchtop magnetic resonance imaging; BT-MRI) or ultrasound (high-resolution ultrasound; HR-US) techniques. Two species of healthy, sexually mature anurans have been used in the present study. Eight Kaloula (blind study) and six Xenopus were used as controls. Magnetic resonance imaging experiments were carried out on a low-field (1 Tesla) benchtop-MRI (BT-MRI) system. HR-US examination was performed with high-resolution equipment. Low-field BT-MRI images provided a clear and quantifiable identification of all the sexual organs present in both genders and species. The HR-US also allowed the identification of testes and ovaries in both species. Results indicate that BT-MRI allowed a very precise sex identification in both anuran species, although its use is limited by the cost of the equipment and the need for anesthesia. HR-US allowed an accurate identification of ovaries of both species whereas a precise identification of testes is limited by the ultrasonographer experience. The main advantages of this technique are the possibility of performing it without anesthesia and the higher availability of equipment in veterinary and zoo institutions.

PubMed ID: 33217993
PMC ID: PMC7698606
Article link: Animals (Basel)

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ddx4

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References [+] :
Amaral, Amphibians on the hotspot: Molecular biology and conservation in the South American Atlantic Rainforest. 2020, Pubmed