Sexually dimorphic expression of dmrt1 in immature and mature Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.)

Hanne Johnsen, Marit Seppola, Jacob S. Torgersen, Madjid Delghandi, Øivind Andersen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The Doublesex and Mab-3 related transcription factor 1 (Dmrt1) is implicated in testis development in a variety of vertebrates, including teleost fish. Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua L.) is a promising cold-water aquaculture species, but early sexual maturation of males in particular is a major problem in today's cod farming. Molecular studies of dmrt1 were initiated to gain knowledge about the regulation of gonad development for the first time in a species of the superorder Paracanthopterygii. The predicted cod Dmrt1 of 310 amino acids contains a highly conserved DM domain, including six Cys residues probably involved in the formation of a double zinc-finger motif for DNA binding. The tissue expression analysis revealed that dmrt1 is expressed exclusively in the gonads, and the signal was localized in the germ cells in both genders by in situ hybridization. Sexually dimorphic expression of dmrt1 was documented by quantitative PCR with the highest mRNA levels in immature males corresponding to the start of spermatogenesis. Although significantly less expressed in the ovary, Dmrt1 might also play a role in oogenesis. Southern blot analysis revealed several DM domain-containing genes in the cod genome, but no sex-linked polymorphism was shown.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Atlantic cod
  • DM domain
  • Dmrt1
  • Gadus morhua
  • Sex dimorphism
  • Spermatogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology


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