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Understanding how the temperature affects sex ratios in thermosensitive animal species is of fundamental importance in the study of the evolution of sex-determining mechanisms and in evaluating the effects of climate change to develop counter-strategy.

Dr Shahrbanou HosseiniPostdoc researcher at the University of Göttingen, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences - Molecular Biology of Livestock and Molecular Diagnostics

Climate change is evident in many places around the world, including inland waters. With this in mind, a team of researchers has gained new insights into the epigenetic control of sexual plasticity. Sex in many species of bony fish is plastic and is determined in interaction between genetic and environmental factors, especially temperature. In their study, Hosseini and her colleagues show that variations in sex expression and sexual plasticity are controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. The results were published in the scientific journal „Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology“.

In this episode we clarify questions such as how climate change affects the ecosystem of inland waters and its inhabitants, what epigenetic control actually is, and how it can lead to a change in the sex of the zebrafish, to name just a few of many interesting questions.

Original publication: Hosseini et al. Epigenetic Regulation of Phenotypic Sexual Plasticity Inducing Skewed Sex Ratio in Zebrafish. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology (2022). https://doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2022.880779

Pia Ehlers

Pia Ehlers

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