Highly rapid and diverse sex chromosome evolution in the Odorrana frog species complex

Taito Katsumi, Foyez Shams, Hiroaki Yanagi, Taku Ohnishi, Mamoru Toda, Si Min Lin, Shuuji Mawaribuchi, Norio Shimizu, Tariq Ezaz, Ikuo Miura*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Sex chromosomes in poikilothermal vertebrates are characterized by rapid and diverse evolution at the species or population level. Our previous study revealed that the Taiwanese frog Odorrana swinhoana (2n = 26) has a unique system of multiple sex chromosomes created by three sequential translocations among chromosomes 1, 3, and 7. To reveal the evolutionary history of sex chromosomes in the Odorrana species complex, we first identified the original, homomorphic sex chromosomes, prior to the occurrence of translocations, in the ancestral-type population of O. swinhoana. Then, we extended the investigation to a closely related Japanese species, Odorrana utsunomiyaorum, which is distributed on two small islands. We used a high-throughput nuclear genomic approach to analyze single-nucleotide polymorphisms and identify the sex-linked markers. Those isolated from the O. swinhoana ancestral-type population were found to be aligned to chromosome 1 and showed male heterogamety. In contrast, almost all the sex-linked markers isolated from O. utsunomiyaorum were heterozygous in females and homozygous in males and were aligned to chromosome 9. Morphologically, we confirmed chromosome 9 to be heteromorphic in females, showing a ZZ-ZW sex determination system, in which the W chromosomes were heterochromatinized in a stripe pattern along the chromosome axis. These results indicated that after divergence of the two species, the ancestral homomorphic sex chromosome 1 underwent highly rapid and diverse evolution, i.e., sequential translocations with two autosomes in O. swinhoana, and turnover to chromosome 9 in O. utsunomiyaorum, with a transition from XY to ZW heterogamety and change to heteromorphy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopment Growth and Differentiation
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug


  • XY
  • ZW
  • heteromorphy
  • speciation
  • turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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