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Gynandromorphs and intersexes: potential to understand the mechanism of sex determination in arthropods

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image of Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews

Arthropods are sexually dimorphic. An arthropod individual usually differentiates into a male or a female. With very low frequencies, however, individuals with both male and female morphological characters have repeatedly been found in natural and laboratory populations of arthropods. Gynandromorphs (i.e., sexual mosaics) are genetically chimeric individuals consisting of male and female tissues. On the other hand, intersexes are genetically uniform (i.e., complete male, complete female or intermediate in every tissue) but all or some parts of their tissues have either a sexual phenotype opposite to their genetic sex or an intermediate sexual phenotype. Possible developmental processes (e.g., double fertilization of a binucleate egg, loss of a sex chromosome or upregulation/downregulation of sex-determining genes) and causal factors (e.g., mutations, genetic incompatibilities, temperatures or endosymbionts) for the generation of gynandromorphs and intersexes are reviewed and discussed.


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