Timing sexual differentiation: Full functional sex reversal achieved through silencing of a single insulin-like gene in the prawn, Macrobrachium rosenbergii Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract In Crustacea, an early evolutionary group (∼ 50 000 species) inhabiting most ecological niches, sex differentiation is regulated by a male-specific androgenic gland (AG). The identification of AG-specific insulin-like factors (IAGs) and genomic sex markers offers an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the sexual differentiation mechanism in crustaceans and other arthropods. Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first full and functional sex reversal of male freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) through the silencing of a single IAG-encoding gene. These “neofemales” produced all-male progeny, as proven by sex-specific genomic markers. This finding offers an insight regarding the biology and evolution of sex differentiation regulation, with a novel perspective for the evolution of insulin-like peptides. Our results demonstrate how temporal intervention with …

publication date

  • January 1, 2012