Validation of a Molecular Sex Marker In Three Sturgeons From Eastern North America

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Biological Sciences


Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences


Despite the importance of sex-specific information for sturgeon conservation and management, sex identification has been a major challenge outside of mature adults on spawning grounds. Recent work identified a sex-specific locus (AllWSex2) that appears to be broadly conserved across many Acipenserids, but the assay was not validated for all species within the family. We tested the AllWSex2 marker in three sturgeon taxa (shortnose sturgeon Acipenser brevirostrum, Gulf sturgeon A. oxyrhinchus desotoi, and Atlantic sturgeon A. oxyrhinchus oxyrhinchus) from the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Coasts of North America to validate its use for sex identification. Our results indicate AllWSex2 is conserved in all three taxa, presenting a new opportunity to derive sex-specific information from tissue samples, which are routinely collected from these taxa. We found high concordance (range: 97–100%) between genotypic and phenotypic/histological methods, suggesting the assay is broadly effective. However, the small amount of discordance between the methods (< 3%) suggests further refinement may be possible.

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Conservation Genetics Resources

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