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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Mapping of five candidate sex-determining loci in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Mahmoud A Alfaqih12, Joseph P Brunelli3, Robert E Drew4 and Gary H Thorgaard3*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4234, USA

2 Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, Mutah University, Karak 61710, Jordan

3 School of Biological Sciences and Center for Reproductive Biology, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4236, USA

4 University of Idaho, Department of Biological Sciences, Moscow, ID 83844-3051, USA

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BMC Genetics 2009, 10:2  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-10-2

Published: 15 January 2009



Rainbow trout have an XX/XY genetic mechanism of sex determination where males are the heterogametic sex. The homology of the sex-determining gene (SDG) in medaka to Dmrt1 suggested that SDGs evolve from downstream genes by gene duplication. Orthologous sequences of the major genes of the mammalian sex determination pathway have been reported in the rainbow trout but the map position for the majority of these genes has not been assigned.


Five loci of four candidate genes (Amh, Dax1, Dmrt1 and Sox6) were tested for linkage to the Y chromosome of rainbow trout. We exclude the role of all these loci as candidates for the primary SDG in this species. Sox6i and Sox6ii, duplicated copies of Sox6, mapped to homeologous linkage groups 10 and 18 respectively. Genotyping fishes of the OSU × Arlee mapping family for Sox6i and Sox6ii alleles indicated that Sox6i locus might be deleted in the Arlee lineage.


Additional candidate genes should be tested for their linkage to the Y chromosome. Mapping data of duplicated Sox6 loci supports previously suggested homeology between linkage groups 10 and 18. Enrichment of the rainbow trout genomic map with known gene markers allows map comparisons with other salmonids. Mapping of candidate sex-determining loci is important for analyses of potential autosomal modifiers of sex-determination in rainbow trout.