Origin of sex chromosomes in six groups of Rana rugosa frogs inferred from a sex-linked DNA marker

Akira Oike, Koichiro Watanabe, Mi Sook Min, Koji Tojo, Masahide Kumagai, Yuya Kimoto, Tadashi Yamashiro, Takanori Matsuo, Maho Kodama, Yoriko Nakamura, Masaru Notsu, Takeyoshi Tochimoto, Hiroyuki Fujita, Maki Ota, Etsuro Ito, Shigeki Yasumasu, Masahisa Nakamura*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Each vertebrate species, as a general rule, has either the XX/XY or ZZ/ZW chromosomes by which sex is determined. However, the Japanese Rana (R.) rugosa frog is an exception, possessing both sex-determining combinations within one species, varying with region of origin. We collected R. rugosa frogs from 104 sites around Japan and South Korea and determined the nucleotide sequences of the mitochondrial 12S ribosomal RNA gene. Based on the sequences, R. rugosa frogs were divided into four groups from Japan and one from South Korea. The ZZ/ZW type is reportedly derived from the XX/XY type, although recently a new ZZ/ZW type of R. rugosa was reported. However, it still remains unclear from where the sex chromosomes in the five groups of this species were derived. In this study, we successfully isolated a sex-linked DNA maker and used it to classify R. rugosa frogs into several groupings. From the DNA marker as well as from nucleotide analysis of the promoter region of the androgen receptor (AR) gene, we identified another female heterogametic group, designated, West-Central. The sex chromosomes in the West-Central originated from the West and Central groups. The results indicate that a sex-linked DNA marker is a verifiable tool to determine the origin of the sex chromosomes in R. rugosa frogs in which the sex-determining system has changed, during two independent events, from the male to female heterogamety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-452
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological and Integrative Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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