Evolution of sexual development and sexual dimorphism in insects

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gde.2021.02.011. This is version 1 of this Preprint.


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Ben Hopkins, Artyom Kopp


Most animal species consist of two distinct sexes. At the morphological, physiological, and behavioural levels the differences between males and females are numerous and dramatic, yet at the genomic level they are often slight or absent. This disconnect is overcome because simple genetic differences or environmental signals are able to direct the sex-specific expression of a shared genome. A canonical picture of how this process works in insects emerged from decades of work on Drosophila. But recent years have seen an explosion of molecular-genetic and developmental work on a broad range of insects. Drawing these studies together, we describe the evolution of sexual dimorphism from a comparative perspective and argue that insect sex determination and differentiation systems are composites of rapidly evolving and highly conserved elements.




Cell and Developmental Biology, Developmental Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences


doublesex, dsx, ecdysone, evo-devo, evolution of sex differences, insect hormones, M-factor, mimicry, Papilio, sex chromosome, sex lethal, sexual differentiation, sexual dimorphism, sexual selection, transformer


Published: 2021-02-22 20:10


CC-By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International

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