Evolution of sex determination in crustaceans

Zhiqiang Ye, Trent Bishop, Yaohai Wang, Ryan Shahriari, Michael Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sex determination (SD) involves mechanisms that determine whether an individual will develop into a male, female, or in rare cases, hermaphrodite. Crustaceans harbor extremely diverse SD systems, including hermaphroditism, environmental sex determination (ESD), genetic sex determination (GSD), and cytoplasmic sex determination (e.g., Wolbachia controlled SD systems). Such diversity lays the groundwork for researching the evolution of SD in crustaceans, i.e., transitions among different SD systems. However, most previous research has focused on understanding the mechanism of SD within a single lineage or species, overlooking the transition across different SD systems. To help bridge this gap, we summarize the understanding of SD in various clades of crustaceans, and discuss how different SD systems might evolve from one another. Furthermore, we review the genetic basis for transitions between different SD systems (i.e., Dmrt genes) and propose the microcrustacean Daphnia (clade Branchiopoda) as a model to study the transition from ESD to GSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMarine Life Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Crustacean
  • Daphnia
  • Dmrt
  • Sex determination
  • Sexual differentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Oceanography
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Aquatic Science


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