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Gene Expr Patterns 2022 Jun 01;44:119245. doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2022.119245.
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Identification and functional analysis of foxl2 and nodal in sea cucumber, Apostichopus japonicus.

Sun JJ , Sun ZH , Wei JL , Ding J , Song J , Chang YQ .

Sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) is an important mariculture species in China. To date, the mechanisms of sex determination and differentiation in sea cucumber remain unclear. Identifying sex-specific molecular markers is an effective method for revealing the genetic basis of sex determination and sex differentiation. In this study, foxl2 and nodal homologous genes were identified in A. japonicus. Foxl2 exhibited dynamic and sexually dimorphic expression patterns in the gonads, with prominent expression in the ovaries and minimal expression in the testis according to real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) study. As nodal was specifically expressed in the ovary, it could serve as an ovary-specific marker in sea cucumber. Additionally, knockdown of foxl2 or nodal using RNA interference (RNAi) led to the down-regulation of piwi, germ cell-less, and dmrt1, suggesting that foxl2 and nodal may play important roles in gonad maintenance of sea cucumber. Overall, this study adds to our understanding of the roles of foxl2 and nodal in the gonadal development of A. japonicus, which provides further insight into the mechanisms of sea cucumber sex determination and differentiation.

PubMed ID: 35381371
Article link: Gene Expr Patterns