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Cloning of brain aromatase gene and expression of brain and ovarian aromatase genes during sexual differentiation in genetic male and female Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

Citation
Kwon JY, McAndrew B & Penman D (2001) Cloning of brain aromatase gene and expression of brain and ovarian aromatase genes during sexual differentiation in genetic male and female Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, Molecular Reproduction and Development, 59 (4), pp. 359-370.

Abstract
A brain aromatase gene was identified from the Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus. The cDNA sequence of this gene differed from that of the ovarian aromatase gene previously reported from this species. Tissue specific expression for both brain and ovarian aromatase genes was examined in the tissues of adult tilapia. Brain aromatase mRNA was expressed in the brain, kidney, eye, ovary, and testis, but not in the liver and spleen. Ovarian aromatase mRNA was expressed in the brain, spleen, ovary, and testis but not in the eye, kidney, and liver. Differential aromatase gene expression between the sexes was investigated in all-male (XY) and all-female (XX) groups of tilapia fry from fertilisation throughout the sexual differentiation period. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed that the initiation of expression of both aromatase genes lay between 3 and 4 dpf (days post fertilisation) in both sexes. The level of brain aromatase mRNA gradually increased throughout the period studied with little difference between the sexes. This contrasted with marked sexual dimorphism of ovarian aromatase mRNA expression. In females, the expression level was maintained or increased gradually throughout ontogeny, while the level in males was dramatically down-regulated between 15 and 27 dpf. Subsequently, the level of ovarian aromatase mRNA expression fluctuated slightly in both sexes, with the expression in females always being higher than in males. These findings clearly suggest that ovarian aromatase plays a decisive role in sexual differentiation in this species and that this is achieved by down-regulation of the expression of this gene in males.

Keywords
steroids; ontogeny; down-regulation; kidney

Subject headings
Nile tilapia; Osmoregulation; Sustainable aquaculture

StatusPublished
AuthorsKwon Joon Yeong, McAndrew Brendan, Penman David
Publication date08/2001
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
ISSN 1040-452X
LanguageEnglish

Journal
Molecular Reproduction and Development: Volume 59, Issue 4 (AUG 2001)

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