Hox genes polymorphism depicts developmental disruption of common sole eggs

Menelaos Kavouras*, Emmanouil E. Malandrakis, Theodoros Danis, Ewout Blom, Konstantinos Anastassiadis, Panagiota Panagiotaki, Athanasios Exadactylos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In sole aquaculture production, consistency in the quality of produced eggs throughout the year is unpredictable. Hox genes have a crucial role in controlling embryonic development and their genetic variation could alter the phenotype dramatically. In teleosts genome duplication led paralog hox genes to become diverged. Direct association of polymorphism in hoxa1a, hoxa2a & hoxa2b of Solea solea with egg viability indicates hoxa2b as a potential genetic marker. High Resolution Melt (HRM) analysis was carried out in 52 viable and 61 non-viable eggs collected at 54±6 hours post fertilization (hpf). Allelic and genotypic frequencies of polymorphism were analyzed and results illustrated a significantly increased risk for non-viability for minor alleles and their homozygous genotypes. Haplotype analysis demonstrated a significant recessive effect on the risk of non-viability, by increasing the odds of disrupting embryonic development up to three-fold. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the paralog genes hoxa2a and hoxa2b, are separated distinctly in two clades and presented a significant ω variation, revealing their diverged evolutionary rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-563
Number of pages15
JournalOpen Life Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • egg quality
  • embryonic development
  • Hox genes
  • polymorphism
  • reproduction

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