A review of sex determining mechanisms in geckos (Gekkota: Squamata)

T. Gamble

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Geckos are a species-rich clade of reptiles possessing diverse sex determining mechanisms. Some species possess genetic sex determination, with both male and female heterogamety, while other species have temperature- dependent sex determination. I compiled information from the literature on the taxonomic distribution of these sex determining mechanisms in geckos. Using phylogenetic data from the literature, I reconstructed the minimum number of transitions among these sex determining mechanisms with parsimony-based ancestral state reconstruction. While only a small number of gecko species have been characterized, numerous changes among sex determining mechanisms were inferred. This diversity, coupled with the high frequency of transitions, makes geckos excellent candidates as a model clade for the study of vertebrate sex determination and evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-103
Number of pages16
JournalSexual Development
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Comparative method
  • Female heterogamety
  • Genetic sex determination
  • Homology
  • Lizard
  • Male heterogamety
  • Reptile
  • Sex chromosomes
  • Temperature-dependent sex determination


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