Sex‐determining potencies vary among female incubation temperatures in a turtle

Academic Article


  • Reptiles whose sex is determined by incubation temperature typically exhibit all‐male or all‐female sex ratios over a wide range of incubation temperatures. The question arises as to whether the various all‐female temperatures (or the various all‐male temperatures) are equivalent in their “potency,” or capacity to effect female determination. In map turtles, warm incubation temperatures produce all females and cool ones produce all males. We compared sex determining potencies of two all‐female temperatures, 31°C and 32.5°C, by incubating eggs first at a male‐producing temperature (26°C) and then shifting them to the warm temperatures. The resulting sex ratio was significantly more male biased in the 26°C→31°C shift than in the 26°C→32.5°C shift, indicating that 32.5°C has the greater female potency. These results point to the possibility that sex determination depends on a quantitative rather than qualitative level of gene expression. Copyright © 1990 Wiley‐Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bull JJ; Wibbels T; Crews D
  • Start Page

  • 339
  • End Page

  • 341
  • Volume

  • 256
  • Issue

  • 3