Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Independent Evolution of Sex Chromosomes in Eublepharid Geckos, a Lineage with Environmental and Genotypic Sex Determination

Version 1 : Received: 4 November 2020 / Approved: 5 November 2020 / Online: 5 November 2020 (14:14:53 CET)

How to cite: Pensabene, E.; Kratochvíl, L.; Rovatsos, M. Independent Evolution of Sex Chromosomes in Eublepharid Geckos, a Lineage with Environmental and Genotypic Sex Determination. Preprints 2020, 2020110213 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0213.v1). Pensabene, E.; Kratochvíl, L.; Rovatsos, M. Independent Evolution of Sex Chromosomes in Eublepharid Geckos, a Lineage with Environmental and Genotypic Sex Determination. Preprints 2020, 2020110213 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0213.v1).

Abstract

Geckos demonstrate a remarkable variability in sex determination systems, but our limited knowledge prohibits accurate conclusions on the evolution of sex determination in this group. Eyelid geckos (Eublepharidae) are of particular interest, as they encompass species with both environmental and genotypic sex determination. We identified for the first time the X-specific gene content in the Yucatán banded gecko, Coleonyx elegans, possessing X1X1X2X2/X1X2Y multiple sex chromosomes by comparative genome coverage analysis between sexes. The X-specific gene content of Coleonyx elegans was revealed to be partially homologous to genomic regions linked to the chicken autosomes 1, 6 and 11. A qPCR-based test was applied to validate a subset of X-specific genes by comparing the difference in gene copy numbers between sexes, and to explore the homology of sex chromosomes across 11 eublepharid, two phyllodactylid and one sphaerodactylid species. Homologous sex chromosomes are shared between Coleonyx elegans and Coleonyx mitratus, two species diverged approximately 34 million years ago, but not with other tested species. As far as we know, the X-specific gene content of Coleonyx elegans / Coleonyx mitratus was never involved in the sex chromosomes of other gecko lineages, indicating that the sex chromosomes in this clade of eublepharid geckos evolved independently.

Subject Areas

Gekkota; reptiles; DNA-seq; sex chromosomes; sex determination; qPCR

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