Supplementary Material for: Spatiotemporal Correlations between amh and cyp19a1a Transcript Expression and Apoptosis during Gonadal Sex Differentiation of Pejerrey, Odontesthes bonariensis

Sex determination in pejerrey is genetically prescribed by the Y chromosome-linked anti-müllerian hormone amhy but is also strongly influenced by water temperature during the critical period of sex determination. Its gonadal differentiation is characterized by a cephalocaudal and left-to-right histological gradient in both sexes that presumably helps prevent discrepant intersex development in different regions of the gonads in response to ambiguous thermal and genetic stimuli, but the relation of this gradient to molecular processes of sex differentiation is unknown. In this study, we investigated the spatiotemporal expression patterns of amh, gonadal aromatase (cyp19a1a), and apoptosis in relation to the histological gradient in ovaries and testes at an intermediate, sexually neutral temperature. The location and timing of expression of amh, cyp19a1a, and apoptosis seemed to be highly coordinated with the time of gonadal sex differentiation and the histological gradient of gonadal sex differentiation. Apoptosis occurred predominantly in the anterior region of the right gonads and is surmised to be a process to delay differentiation in this area compared to the left gonad, possibly as a means to ensure uniform development in both gonads. Aromatase expression early during development was noted even in putative XY males, supporting the notion of primacy of female development in pejerrey gonads. Thus, apoptosis may be particularly important to prevent discrepant gonadal differentiation in XY individuals where genetic pro-male (amhy), pro-female (cyp19a1a), and thermal stimuli may antagonize.