Screening for Dmrt genes from embryo to mature Macrobrachium rosenbergii prawns

Faiza Amterat Abu Abayed, Rivka Manor, Eliahu D. Aflalo, Amir Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The doublesex and mab-3 related transcription factor (Dmrt) gene family is known to be related to the sexual regulators doublesex of arthropods and mab-3 of annelids and to hold highly conserved functions in sexual determination and differentiation across phyla. Here, we report a study of the Dmrt gene family in the freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii, a crustacean whose sexual differentiation has been widely researched. A wide transcriptomic screen, from the embryo to the adult M. rosenbergii, identified five novel Dmrt genes (MroDmrts) and confirmed two known MroDmrts. The seven MroDmrts encode proteins of 275–855 amino acids; each protein contained at least one conserved DNA-binding DM domain, which is typical of Dmrt proteins, and five proteins contained 1–4 transactivation domains (TADs). Importantly, in the embryonic, larval and post-larval stages, MroDmrt genes exhibited time-dependent expression patterns rather than sex-specific expression. In-silico screening of the expression of the MroDmrt genes in adult males revealed the enrichment of MroiDmrt1b and MroiDmrt1c in the androgenic gland (AG) as compared to the eyestalks. In vivo silencing of the androgenic gland insulin-like (IAG) encoding gene significantly decreased the expression of the above two Dmrt genes, while not affecting the expression of control genes, thereby suggesting the possible role of these two genes in the IAG-switch and in sex-differentiation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113205
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • Crustacea
  • Dmrt
  • Embryo
  • IAG
  • Larva and post larvae transcriptomic libraries
  • Macrobrachium rosenbergii
  • Transactivation domain (TAD)
  • Zinc finger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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