Chapter

Neuroendocrine Regulation of Sex Change and Alternate Sexual Phenotypes in Sex-Changing Reef Fishes

John Godwin

in Reproduction and Sexuality in Marine Fishes

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520264335
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947979 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520264335.003.0009
Neuroendocrine Regulation of Sex Change and Alternate Sexual Phenotypes in Sex-Changing Reef Fishes

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Our understanding of the diversity of sexual strategies occurring in nature has increased dramatically in the last 25 years. This is particularly true in the area of determination of an individual's sex by environmental signals. Progress in understanding environmental sex determination has been greatest in the areas of temperature-dependent sex determination in reptiles, and social determination of sex and sexual expression in fishes. This chapter discusses physiological and neural mechanisms underlying the expression of alternate male phenotypes in sex-changing marine fishes. First, it briefly reviews the vertebrate and teleost neuroendocrine axis, as well as key steroid and neural signaling systems known to affect reproductive function, reproductive behavior, and aggression in fishes. The chapter then explores the known involvement of these systems in regulating sex change, sexual behavior, and sexual phenotypes for the best-studied groups of tropical marine fishes in this respect: the gobies (Gobiidae); the basslets and groupers (Serranidae); and the wrasses, parrotfishes, and damselfishes (Labridae, Scaridae, and Pomacentridae).

Keywords: sex change; sex determination; marine fishes; sexual phenotypes; reproductive function; reproductive behavior; aggression; sexual behavior; gobies; groupers

Chapter.  13815 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Aquatic Biology

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