Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Display All Information

Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8317
Title: Evidence of sex-bias in gene expression in the brain transcriptome of two populations of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) with divergent life histories
Author: M. Hale, Garrett McKinney, Frank P. Thrower, Krista M. Nichols
Publication Year: In press
Journal: PLoS ONE

Sex-bias in gene expression is a mechanism that can generate phenotypic variance between the sexes, however, relatively little is known about how patterns of sex-bias vary during development, and how variable sex-bias is between different populations. To that end, we measured sex-bias in gene expression in the brain transcriptome of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) during the first two years of development. Our sampling included from the fry stage through to when O. mykiss either migrate to the ocean or remain resident and undergo sexual maturation. Samples came from two F1 lines: One from migratory steelhead trout and one from resident rainbow trout. All samples were reared in a common garden environment and RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was used to estimate patterns of gene expression. A total of 1,716 (4.6% of total) genes showed evidence of sex-bias in gene expression in at least one time point. The majority (96.7%) of sex-biased genes were differentially expressed during the second year of development, indicating that patterns of sex-bias in expression are tied to key developmental events, such as migration and sexual maturation. Mapping of differentially expressed genes to the O. mykiss genome revealed that the X chromosome is enriched for female upregulated genes, and this may indicate a lack of dosage compensation in rainbow trout. There were many more sex-biased genes in the migratory line than the resident line suggesting differences in patterns of gene expression in the brain between populations subjected to different forces of selection. Overall, our results suggest that there is considerable variation in the extent and identity of genes exhibiting sex-bias during the first two years of life. These differentially expressed genes may be connected to developmental differences between the sexes, and/or between adopting a resident or migratory life history.

Theme: Recovery and rebuilding of marine and coastal species
Foci: Develop methods to use physiological, biological and behavioral information to predict population-level processes.