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Sexually Dimorphic Growth Stimulation in a Strain of Growth Hormone Transgenic Coho Salmon ( Oncorhynchus kisutch )
Marine Biotechnology  (IF3.619),  Pub Date : 2021-01-22, DOI: 10.1007/s10126-020-10012-5
Michelle T. T. Chan, Annette Muttray, Dionne Sakhrani, Krista Woodward, Jin-Hyoung Kim, Kris A. Christensen, Ben F. Koop, Robert H. Devlin

Growth hormone (GH) transgenic fish often exhibit remarkable transformations in growth rate and other phenotypes relative to wild-type. The 5750A transgenic coho salmon strain exhibits strong sexually dimorphic growth, with females possessing growth stimulation at a level typical of that seen for both sexes in other strains harbouring the same gene construct (e.g. M77), while males display a modest level of growth stimulation. GH mRNA levels were significantly higher in females than in males of the 5750A strain but equivalent in the M77 strain, indicating sex and transgene insertion locus altered transgene expression. We found that acute estradiol treatments did not influence GH expression in either strain (5750A and M77) or the transgene promoter (metallothionein-B), suggesting that estradiol level was not a significant factor influencing transgene activity. The feminization of XX and XY fish of the 5750A and M77 strains generated all-female groups and resulted in equalized growth of the two genetic sexes, suggesting that the presence of the Y chromosome was not directly capable of influencing the GH transgene–mediated growth in a physiological female conditions. These data suggest that the difference in growth rate seen between the sexes in the 5750A strain arises from non-estradiol-mediated sex influences on gene regulation at the transgene locus. This study shows how genetic factors and transgene insertion sites can influence transgene expression with significant consequent effects on phenotype.