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Appears in Collections:Aquaculture Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Mapping the sex determination locus in the Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) using RAD sequencing
Authors: Palaiokostas, Christos
Bekaert, Michaël
Davie, Andrew
Cowan, Mairi
Oral, Munevver
Taggart, John
Gharbi, Karim
McAndrew, Brendan
Penman, David
Migaud, Herve
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Keywords: Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Sex determination
QTL mapping
Issue Date: 20-Aug-2013
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Palaiokostas C, Bekaert M, Davie A, Cowan M, Oral M, Taggart J, Gharbi K, McAndrew B, Penman D & Migaud H (2013) Mapping the sex determination locus in the Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) using RAD sequencing, BMC Genomics, 14 (1), Art. No.: 566.
Abstract: Background: Atlantic halibut (Hippoglossus hippoglossus) is a high-value, niche market species for cold-water marine aquaculture. Production of monosex female stocks is desirable in commercial production since females grow faster and mature later than males. Understanding the sex determination mechanism and developing sex-associated markers will shorten the time for the development of monosex female production, thus decreasing the costs of farming. Results: Halibut juveniles were masculinised with 17 α-methyldihydrotestosterone (MDHT) and grown to maturity. Progeny groups from four treated males were reared and sexed. Two of these groups (n = 26 and 70) consisted of only females, while the other two (n = 30 and 71) contained balanced sex ratios (50% and 48% females respectively). DNA from parents and offspring from the two mixed-sex families were used as a template for Restriction-site Associated DNA (RAD) sequencing. The 648 million raw reads produced 90,105 unique RAD-tags. A linkage map was constructed based on 5703 Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers and 7 microsatellites consisting of 24 linkage groups, which corresponds to the number of chromosome pairs in this species. A major sex determining locus was mapped to linkage group 13 in both families. Assays for 10 SNPs with significant association with phenotypic sex were tested in both population data and in 3 additional families. Using a variety of machine-learning algorithms 97% correct classification could be obtained with the 3% of errors being phenotypic males predicted to be females. Conclusion: Altogether our findings support the hypothesis that the Atlantic halibut has an XX/XY sex determination system. Assays are described for sex-associated DNA markers developed from the RAD sequencing analysis to fast track progeny testing and implement monosex female halibut production for an immediate improvement in productivity. These should also help to speed up the inclusion of neomales derived from many families to maintain a larger effective population size and ensure long-term improvement through selective breeding.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: © 2013 Palaiokostas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Affiliation: Aquaculture
Aquaculture (Machrihanish)
University of Stirling
University of Edinburgh

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