A Single Injection of Hypertrophied Androgenic Gland Cells Produces All-Female Aquaculture

Tom Levy, Ohad Rosen, Brit Eilam, Dudu Azulay, Eliahu D. Aflalo, Rivka Manor, Assaf Shechter, Amir Sagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monosex culture, common in animal husbandry, enables gender-specific management. Here, production of all-female prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) was achieved by a novel biotechnology comprising three steps: (a) A single injection of suspended hypertrophied androgenic gland cells caused fully functional sex reversal of females into “neo-males” bearing the WZ genotype; (b) crossing neo-males with normal females (WZ) yielded genomically validated WW females; and (c) WW females crossed with normal males (ZZ) yielded all-female progeny. This is the first sustainable biotechnology for large-scale all-female crustacean aquaculture. The approach is particularly suited to species in which females are superior to males and offers seedstock protection, thereby ensuring a quality seed supply. Our technology will thus revolutionize not only the structure of the crustacean aquaculture industry but can also be applied to other sectors. Finally, the production of viable and reproducible females lacking the Z chromosome questions its role, with respect to sexuality.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)554-563
Number of pages10
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • All-female population
  • Androgenic gland
  • Appendix masculina
  • Hypertrophied androgenic gland (hAG) cells
  • Prawn
  • Sex reversal

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Biotechnology


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