Profiles of mRNA expression of FOXL2, P450arom, DMRT1, AMH, P450 c17, SF1, ERα and AR, in relation to gonadal sex differentiation in duck embryo

Naomi Koba, Toshimichi Ohfuji, Yonju Ha, Shusei Mizushima, Akira Tsukada, Noboru Saito, Kiyoshi Shimada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


The present study was conducted to show a profile of mRNA expression of sex-differentiation related genes in the duck gonad. Fertile duck eggs (Cherry-valley) were incubated (hatching at day 28 of incubation) and the gonads were collected at days 7, 8, 10, 12 and 15 of incubation after taking photos of the gonads. Left gonad was used for identification of genetic sex and for total RNA extraction. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed using appropriate forward and reverse primers for each of FOXL2, P450arom, DMRT1, AMH, P450c17, SF1, ER α and AR genes of the chicken and the corresponding cDNA fragments were sequenced for duck. Subsequently, real-time PCR was performed to detect mRNA expression of those genes in the duck embryo. Male bilateral gonads assumed symmetry in appearance throughout the examined period, whereas the female gonads were noticeably asymmetric at 10 days of incubation with a smaller size of the right. Female asymmetry was distinct by day 15 of incubation. In females, FOXL2 and P450arom mRNA expression began at day 8 of incubation and remained high thereafter, but in males only negligible expression was detected. In males, mRNA expression of DMRT1 and AMH was detected at day 7 of incubation and tended to increase gradually thereafter, whereas in females the expression remained low throughout the examined period. Though the slight expression of P450c17 mRNA started at day 7 only in males, the expression was low throughout the examined period, whereas in female the expression was distinct at day 8 of incubation and remained high thereafter. Expressions of the other genes were variable with no differences in each expression between the sexes. The results indicate that FOXL2 and P450arom play an important role for the ovarian formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-138
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Poultry Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 15 2008
Externally publishedYes



  • Dmrt1
  • Duck gonad
  • Fox12
  • P450arom
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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