Male or female? In many reptiles sex determination is temperature-dependent. But how this works has been a mystery for 50 years... New insights have emerged from work by Chutian Ge and his collegues who show that ancient conserved epigentic machinary is involved in the thermosensitive regulation of key sex genes. Team Pogona was asked to provide a perspective on the new findings. We have received many enquiries since. In this post, we explain more fully what we believe is going on.
Posted in Team Pogona on Mar 15, 2018
Congratulations to IAE student, Duminda Dissanayake, on receiving a grant from the National Geographic to progress understanding of sex reversal by temperature in the three-lined skink and to advance broader implications of sex reversal more generally. Sex reversal in the XX/XY skink complements sex reversal in the ZZ/ZW dragon very nicely indeed.
Posted in Team Pogona on Jan 24, 2018
Congratulations to Sarah Whiteley and Duminda Dissanayake on the receipt of CSIRO Scholarships in support of their PhD work. These scholarships carry both a top-up to living allowance and project funds. Both students are working within Team Pogona.
Posted in Team Pogona on Nov 21, 2017
Congratulations to Sarah Whiteley on acceptance by the journal EvoDevo of her honours work. In it she not only characterizes in great detail the embryonic development of the dragon but shows that sex reversal does not interfere with body or genital development in a way that might compromise viability.
Posted in Team Pogona on Oct 21, 2017
Professor Jenny Graves from La Trobe University was honoured last week as recipient of the Prime Minister's Prize for Science. This is Australia's top science prize. The prize is in recognition of an outstanding career in science during which Professor Graves made a number of discoveries and generated many new insights to vertebrate chromosome evolution. Professor Graves is a Thinker in Residence at the IAE.
Posted in Team Pogona on Sep 03, 2017
Welcome to Sarah Whiteley who joins Team Pogona from Queensland University where she recently completed her honours on sex reversal and temporary pseudohermaphroditism in the Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Sarah was awarded first class honours for her work, which has since been submitted in part for publication.
Posted in Team Pogona on Jun 28, 2017
The mechanism by which temperature exerts its influence on offpring sex has baffled scientists for over 50 years, since the phenomenon was first discovered. In a paper recently published in Science Advances (June 14, 2017), we believe we have discovered an important piece of the puzzle, a temperature sensitive transcripional modification to an influential chromatin modifying gene, Jumonji.
Posted in Team Pogona on May 09, 2017
The Institute for Applied Ecology is seeking two PhD students with interests in population genetics and reptile ecology/physiology to investigate the field-based mechanisms of sex reversal in the dragon lizard, Pogona vitticeps.Expressions of interest before June 10.
Posted in Team Pogona on May 08, 2017
Sex in Dragons – Modelling evolutionary transitions in sex determination. We are currently seeking a PhD student with interests in biological responses to climate change, evolution and theoretical biology to investigate the evolutionary and ecological dynamics of sex determination in the dragon lizard, Pogona vitticeps. Expressions of interest before June 10.
Posted in Team Pogona on May 05, 2017
Sex in Dragons – Pinning down the mechanisms of sex determination in a reptile. We are currently seeking at least one, but potentially several, PhD students with interests in genetics, evolution and developmental genomics to investigate the molecular mechanisms through which sex is determined in the Australian central bearded dragon lizard, *Pogona vitticeps*. Expressions of interest before June 10.