Genomic imprinting-like monoallelic paternal expression determines sex of channel catfish

Wenwen Wang, Yujia Yang, Suxu Tan, Tao Zhou, Yang Liu, Changxu Tian, Lisui Bao, De Xing, Baofeng Su, Jinhai Wang, Yu Zhang, Shikai Liu, Huitong Shi, Dongya Gao, Rex Dunham, Zhanjiang Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The X and Y chromosomes of channel catfish have the same gene contents. Here, we report allelic hypermethylation of the X chromosome within the sex determination region (SDR). Accordingly, the X-borne hydin-1 gene was silenced, whereas the Y-borne hydin-1 gene was expressed, making monoallelic expression of hydin-1 responsible for sex determination, much like genomic imprinting. Treatment with a methylation inhibitor, 5-aza-dC, erased the epigenetic marks within the SDR and caused sex reversal of genetic females into phenotypic males. After the treatment, hydin-1 and six other genes related to cell cycle control and proliferative growth were up-regulated, while three genes related to female sex differentiation were down-regulated in genetic females, providing additional support for epigenetic sex determination in catfish. This mechanism of sex determination provides insights into the plasticity of genetic sex determination in lower vertebrates and its connection with temperature sex determination where DNA methylation is broadly involved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadc8786
JournalScience Advances
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Genomic imprinting-like monoallelic paternal expression determines sex of channel catfish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this