Three-minute thesis: Let’s talk about sex change


Alyssa Budd, James Cook University

PhD title

Effect of temperature on sex in Australian barramundi (Lates calcarifer): Understanding the interplay between DNA methylation, gene expression and gonadal phenotype in a protandrous hermaphrodite fish


“Teleost fish are the only vertebrate group known to exhibit natural sex change, yet the molecular mechanisms allowing them to do so remain unknown. Recent evidence suggests that temperature may regulate adult sex change in sequential hermaphrodites, as well as sex determination in gonochoristic fish. Barramundi, Lates calcarifer, is a protandrous (male to female) hermaphrodite of high economic value. Using this species as an experimental model, my PhD investigates the role of temperature as an environmental driver of sex change, and through the analyses of DNA methylation, gene expression and sexual phenotype will help develop sex control strategies for aquaculture.”

The finals of the 2017 Asia-Pacific Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition, which challenges PhD students to communicate their research in a snappy three-minute presentation, were held on the 29 September at the University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus. Competitors came from 55 Universities from across Australia, New Zealand and North and South-East Asia. 

The presentations were judged by distinguished figures in Australian science including Cosmos editor-in-chief Elizabeth Finkel.

Please login to favourite this article.