Sex-linked inheritance of a cuticular pigmentation marker in the marine isopod, Paracerceis sculpta holmes (Crustacea: Isopoda: Sphaeromatidae)

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Cuticular pigmentation is highly variable in Paracerceis sculpta, a Gulf of California isopod. Individuals bearing the distinctive pattern we call Str (Stripe) exhibit a longitudinal band of dark pigmentation on the proximal portion of each dorsal body segment and appear 'striped' when viewed from above. In field samples collected over a 10 year period, over 90% of all individuals scored as Str (N = 62) were females (G = 21.3, P < .001, N = 9598). Three generations of laboratory-reared Str females, when crossed to unmarked males, yielded 1:1 sex ratios, 98% Str daughters (46/47) and no Str sons (N = 56). Sons from these families never produced Str daughters. The sex-limited expression of this cuticular marker in three consecutive generations indicates that sex determination in P. sculpta involves female heterogamety (ZW = females, ZZ = males) and that Str is W-linked. Our results are consistent with studies documenting female heterogamety in flabelliferan and oniscoidean isopods, and suggest that chromosomal sex determination may be common within the Isopoda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-307
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Heredity
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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