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Bernard E. Sietman

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Bivalves exhibit an astonishing diversity of sexual systems and sex-determining mechanisms. They can be gonochoric, hermaphroditic or androgenetic, with both genetic and environmental factors known to determine or influence sex. One unique sex-determining system involving the mitochondrial genome has also been hypothesized to exist in bivalves with doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI) of mtDNA. However, the link between DUI and sex determination remains obscure. In this study, we performed a comparative gonad transcriptomics analysis for two DUI-possessing freshwater mussel species to better understand the mechanisms underlying sex determination and DUI in these bivalves. We used a BLAST reciprocal analysis to identify...
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Freshwater mussel species with doubly uniparental inheritance (DUI) of mtDNA are unique because they are naturally heteroplasmic for two extremely divergent mtDNAs with ~50% amino acid differences for protein-coding genes. The paternally-transmitted mtDNA (or M mtDNA) clearly functions in sperm in these species, but it is still unknown whether it is transcribed when present in male or female soma. In the present study, we used PCR and RT-PCR to detect the presence and expression of the M mtDNA in male and female somatic and gonadal tissues of the freshwater mussel species Venustaconcha ellipsiformis and Utterbackia peninsularis (Unionidae). This is the first study demonstrating that the M mtDNA is transcribed not...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: PLoS ONE
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