Data from: A universal and reliable assay for molecular sex identification of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus)
Toli, Elisavet-Aspasia; Calboli, Federico C. F.; Shikano, Takahito; Merilä, Juha (2016), Data from: A universal and reliable assay for molecular sex identification of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.h5d55
In heterogametic species, biological differences between the two sexes are ubiquitous, and hence, errors in sex identification can be a significant source of noise and bias in studies where sex-related sources of variation are of interest or need to be controlled for. We developed and validated a universal multi-marker assay for reliable sex identification of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus). The assay makes use of genotype scores from three sex-linked loci, and utilizes Bayesian probabilistic inference to identify sex of the genotyped individuals. The results, validated with 286 phenotypically sexed individuals from six populations of sticklebacks representing all major genetic lineages (cf. Pacific, Atlantic and Japan Sea) indicate that in contrast to commonly used single-marker based sex identification assays, the developed multi-marker assay should be 100% accurate. Since the markers in the assay can be scored from agarose gels, it provides a quick and cost-efficient tool for universal sex identification of three-spined sticklebacks. The general principle of combining information from multiple markers to improve the reliability of sex identification is transferable and can be utilized to develop and validate similar assays for other species.