A sexual shift induced by silencing of a single insulin-like gene in crayfish: Ovarian upregulation and testicular degeneration Academic Article uri icon


  • In sequential hermaphrodites, intersexuality occurs naturally, usually as a transition state during sexual re-differentiation processes. In crustaceans, male sexual differentiation is controlled by the male-specific androgenic gland (AG). An AG-specific insulin-like gene, previously identified in the red-claw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (designated Cq-IAG), was found in this study to be the prominent transcript in an AG cDNA subtractive library. In C. quadricarinatus, sexual plasticity is exhibited by intersex individuals in the form of an active male reproductive system and male secondary sex characters, along with a constantly arrested ovary. This intersexuality was exploited to follow changes caused by single gene silencing, accomplished via dsRNA injection. Cq-IAG silencing induced dramatic sex-related alterations, including male feature feminization, a reduction in sperm production …

publication date

  • January 1, 2010