Production of WW males lacking the masculine Z chromosome and mining the Macrobrachium rosenbergii genome for sex-chromosomes

Tom Levy, Ohad Rosen, Rivka Manor, Shahar Dotan, Dudu Azulay, Anna Abramov, Menachem Y. Sklarz, Vered Chalifa-Caspi, Kobi Baruch, Assaf Shechter, Amir Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The cultivation of monosex populations is common in animal husbandry. However, preselecting the desired gender remains a major biotechnological and ethical challenge. To achieve an efficient biotechnology for all-female aquaculture in the economically important prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii), we achieved – for the first time – WW males using androgenic gland cells transplantation which caused full sex-reversal of WW females to functional males. Crossing the WW males with WW females yielded all-female progeny lacking the Z chromosome. We now have the ability to manipulate – by non-genomic means – all possible genotype combinations (ZZ, WZ and WW) to retain either male or female phenotypes and hence to produce monosex populations of either gender. This calls for a study of the genomic basis underlying this striking sexual plasticity, questioning the content of the W and Z chromosomes. Here, we report on the sequencing of a high-quality genome exhibiting distinguishable paternal and maternal sequences. This assembly covers ~ 87.5% of the genome and yielded a remarkable N50 value of ~ 20 × 106 bp. Genomic sex markers were used to initiate the identification and validation of parts of the W and Z chromosomes for the first time in arthropods.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12408
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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