Title

Genetics of Sexual Dimorphism in an Ostracod Crustacean, Euphilomedes carcharodonta

Poster Number

33

Lead Author Major

Biological Sciences

Format

Poster Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Ajna Rivera

Faculty Mentor Department

Biological Sciences

Abstract/Artist Statement

Sexual dimorphism refers to the differences in male and female secondary sexual characteristics; in humans, the pathways to sexual dimorphism is started by they presence or absence of a Y (male) chromosome. Here we examine a sexual dimorphism in Euphilomedes carcharodonta, a species of ostracod crustaceans. In this species, males and females are genetically similar (males do not have a Y chromosome), but differ with regards to their eyes. Males have large multi-faceted eyes while females have only miniscule non-image forming eyes. The sexual dimorphism doesn’t stem from extra genes – it actually comes from a difference in the male and female developmental program. Males undergo tissue duplication and gain a second eye field which is not seen in females. This could possibly be from differing developmental potentials; in particular, males and females may turn on different sets of genes in their nervous system cells. To begin to understand how males can grow eyes without additional genetic information, we cloned and looked at the sequence of several genes known to be involved in eye development. In the future, we will also compare gene expression levels (how much a particular gene is turned on) in male and female eyes.

Location

Grave Covell

Start Date

21-4-2012 10:00 AM

End Date

21-4-2012 12:00 PM

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Apr 21st, 10:00 AM Apr 21st, 12:00 PM

Genetics of Sexual Dimorphism in an Ostracod Crustacean, Euphilomedes carcharodonta

Grave Covell

Sexual dimorphism refers to the differences in male and female secondary sexual characteristics; in humans, the pathways to sexual dimorphism is started by they presence or absence of a Y (male) chromosome. Here we examine a sexual dimorphism in Euphilomedes carcharodonta, a species of ostracod crustaceans. In this species, males and females are genetically similar (males do not have a Y chromosome), but differ with regards to their eyes. Males have large multi-faceted eyes while females have only miniscule non-image forming eyes. The sexual dimorphism doesn’t stem from extra genes – it actually comes from a difference in the male and female developmental program. Males undergo tissue duplication and gain a second eye field which is not seen in females. This could possibly be from differing developmental potentials; in particular, males and females may turn on different sets of genes in their nervous system cells. To begin to understand how males can grow eyes without additional genetic information, we cloned and looked at the sequence of several genes known to be involved in eye development. In the future, we will also compare gene expression levels (how much a particular gene is turned on) in male and female eyes.