Sex determination and differentiation are inherently fascinating to both layperson and geneticist. Major advances have accelerated interest in the molecular genetic events mediating these processes in nematodes, flies, mice and humans. Far less attention has been paid to those organisms, particularly reptiles, where sex is determined by environmental cues. However, recent experimental evidence suggests that the two modes of sex determination may not only share common genetic elements, but may also be regulated by similar mechanisms. We argue that the ability to manipulate sex by temperature provides a particularly suitable model for exploring the molecular basis of this fundamental biological process.
- splicing mechanism