Mystery of sex change in a coral-reef fish unveiled

Ray-finned fish that make up 96% of all the fish include eels, catfish, tarpon, tuna, trout, herring and salmon. They began to dominate oceans and freshwater habitats at a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Among such fish that inhabit coral reefs, sex depends on their size. An interesting exception is the clownfish which live in pairs and their sex change seems to be controlled socially. But, the molecular mechanisms that drive such sex change remain largely unknown.

Studying the Red Sea endemic species Amphiprion bicinctus, a research team from Saudi Arabia and Spain has thrown light on the molecular mechanisms that trigger sex change in clownfish. They identified main genes involved in the whole sex change process by observing a cascade of gene expression changes.read more

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