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Study shows how temperature determines sex in alligators

Study shows how temperature determines sex in alligators
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A joint research team from the US and Japan has identified a thermosensor protein which is associated with temperature-dependent sex determination...

New York: A joint research team from the US and Japan has identified a thermosensor protein which is associated with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) among American alligators. It has been observed that in the American alligator's eggs, incubation at 33 degree Celsius produces mostly males, while incubation at 30 degree Celsius produces mostly females. The research team found that a thermosensitive protein called TRPV4 is present within the developing alligator gonad inside the egg. This protein is responsive to warm temperatures near mid-30s, and can activate cell signalling by inducing calcium ion influx.

The study showed that by specific pharmacological inhibition of TPRV4 protein function in the developing egg, genes important for male development are influenced, and partial feminisation at male producing temperatures have been observed.
According to study authors, their study demonstrates that TRPV4 may significantly influence the male gonadal sex determination pathway at a molecular level during TSD in the alligator.
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