Species capable of bidirectional sex change may be especially revealing regarding the flexibility of the molecular and epigenetic machinery at the heart of the sex change process.
There is now good evidence that epigenetic factors regulate sexual fate, including sex reversal, by adjusting the responsiveness of male- or female-promoting gene networks to activation.
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The process may take several weeks or months in temperate wrasses [Muncaster et al.
Under- or sex okc of either foxl2 or dmrt1 induces sexual cell fate reprogramming and gonadal sex reversal in mice and fish [Uhlenhaut et al.
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In sex-changing fishes, dramatic shifts in plasma sex steroids accompany gonadal sex change fig.
Through the actions of corticotropic releasing hormone CRH and glucocorticoid steroids GCsthe HPI axis responds to environmental stressors, with potentially significant effects on gonadal fate fig.
Sequential hermaphrodites begin life as one sex, changing sometime later to the other, and include species capable of protandrous male-to-femaleprotogynous female-to-maleor serial bidirectional sex change.
Three, non-mutually exclusive, means are proposed through which cortisol may promote stress-induced gonadal masculinisation in gonochoristic systems [Fernandino et al.
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