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Supplementary Material for: Sex Differentiation in Amphibians: Effect of Temperature and Its Influence on Sex Reversal

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posted on 17.05.2021, 13:01 by Ruiz-García A., Roco Á.S., Bullejos M.
The role of environmental factors in sexual differentiation in amphibians is not new. The effect of hormones or hormone-like compounds is widely demonstrated. However, the effect of temperature has traditionally been regarded as something anecdotal that occurs in extreme situations and not as a factor to be considered. The data currently available reveal a different situation. Sexual differentiation in some amphibian species can be altered even by small changes in temperature. On the other hand, although not proven, it is possible that temperature is related to the appearance of sex-reversed individuals in natural populations under conditions unrelated to environmental contaminants. According to this, temperature, through sex reversal (phenotypic sex opposed to genetic sex), could play an important role in the turnover of sex-determining genes and in the maintenance of homomorphic sex chromosomes in this group. Accordingly, and given the expected increase in global temperatures, growth and sexual differentiation in amphibians could easily be affected, altering the sex ratio in natural populations and posing major conservation challenges for a group in worldwide decline. It is therefore particularly urgent to understand the mechanism by which temperature affects sexual differentiation in amphibians.

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