Date of Award

January 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Turk Rhen


Temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) is the developmental process in which cell fate decisions in the bipotential gonads are influenced by temperature and drive the gonad toward one of two distinct organs, an ovary or testis. In species with TSD, temperature establishes the gene expression patterns required for cell fate decisions and gonad differentiation. However, the precise mechanism that temperature regulates gene expression is unknown. Here we have shown that Jarid2, which encodes a Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2) accessory protein, exhibits temperature-dependent intron retention that results in three distinct transcripts encoding distinct proteins with functional similarities and differences in TSD. We found in a long-read sequencing assay that the transcripts encoding these proteins exhibited different expression patterns in response to a temperature shift from a male- to female-producing temperature. We also found that overexpression of these proteins in a bipotential gonad cell culture model yielded both similar and differing effects on gene expression, suggesting that they may play unique roles in regulating gene expression in TSD. Our results demonstrate that JARID2 is alternately spliced and the resulting isoforms are likely involved in establishing the transcriptional profiles required for cell fate decisions in TSD. We anticipate that this study will provide a foundation from which to further probe the function of JARID2 in the thermal response during TSD.