Confirmation of male-specific PCR markers in the annual plant Mercurialis annua.
Bacterial artificial chromosome (BACs) containing Y-specific markers have been sequenced using PacBio sequencing. The assembled sequence was annotated and mapped to the established genetic map of M. annua. We found low gene density and confirmed the large extent of the non-recombination region in males present in the genetic map (Veltsos et al., 2017).
We are in the process of sequencing exons and introns from the predicted genes in an attempt to identify sex-specific PCR products and characterise sequences from the X and Y chromosomes. In combination with genome capture and RNAseq data from many species we hope to identify the sex-determining gene, and characterise the sex chromosome history as it evolved independently in different Mercurialis linages (in different ploidy levels, and in the closely related species M. huetti and M. canariensis).