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Gonadal development and differentiation in alligator mississippiensis at male and female producing incubation temperatures

, : Gonadal development and differentiation in alligator mississippiensis at male and female producing incubation temperatures. Journal of Zoology (London) 218(4): 679-688

The development and differentiation of the gonads of embryonic alligators incubated at C (100% female producing) and C (100% male producing) was investigated histologically. The stage of development of the gonad and differentiation into an ovary or a testis occurred at essentially the same time at both temperatures. This contrasts with the overall development of the embryos which was slower at the lower temperature. A few days prior to differentiation, gonads grew more quickly at C than they did at C. However, once differentiated into a presumptive testis, gonads reduced in volume so that at hatching presumptive testes were smaller than presumptive ovaries. It is hypothesized that synchrony/asynchrony of development of the gonad and the rest of the embryo may account for temperature-dependent sex determination.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7998.1989.tb05009.x

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