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Sex differences in DNA methylation and expression in zebrafish brain: a test of an extended 'male sex drive' hypothesis


The sex drive hypothesis predicts that stronger selection on male traits has resulted in masculinization of the genome. Here we test whether such masculinizing effects can be detected at the level of the transcriptome and methylome in the adult zebrafish brain. Although methylation is globally similar, we identified 914 specific differentially methylated CpGs (DMCs) between males and females (435 were hypermethylated and 479 were hypomethylated in males compared to females). These DMCs were prevalent in gene body, intergenic regions and CpG island shores. We also discovered 15 distinct CpG clusters with striking sex-specific DNA methylation differences. In contrast, at transcriptome level, more female-biased genes than male-biased genes were expressed, giving little support for the male sex drive hypothesis. Our study provides genome-wide methylome and transcriptome assessment and sheds light on sex-specific epigenetic patterns and in zebrafish for the first time.

Type Journal
ISBN 1879-0038 (Electronic) 0378-1119 (Linking)
Authors Chatterjee, A. ; Lagisz, M. ; Rodger, E. J. ; Zhen, L. ; Stockwell, P. A. ; Duncan, E. J. ; Horsfield, J. A. ; Jeyakani, J. ; Mathavan, S. ; Ozaki, Y. ; Nakagawa, S.;
Responsible Garvan Author (missing name)
Publisher Name GENE
Published Date 2016-01-01
Published Volume 590
Published Issue 2
Published Pages 307-16
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version