Posted in Pogona Research on Jan 20, 2021
Sex in dragons can be a complicated affair. In a paper published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Proceedings B), IAE PhD student Sarah Whiteley and her colleagues present some tantalizing evidence that the TSD Jacky Dragon has an underlying predisposition to be one sex or the other, a predisposition that is over-ridden at extreme incubation temperatures.
Posted in Pogona Research on Jun 17, 2019
Those of you watching *The Desolation of Smaug* closely might have been surprised to see how quickly Smaug arose from his slumber when disturbed by Bilbo the Burglar. How is it that dragons can arouse so quickly if disturbed during hibernation? We might have the answer in our latest paper in BMC Genomics.
Posted in Pogona Research on Nov 28, 2018
A recent incident involving a feral cat and one of our treasured dragon lizards near Cunnamulla in western Queensland serves to highlight the impact feral cats are having on the Australian environment. PhD students Kris Wild and Phil Pearson tell the story.
Posted in Pogona Research on Jul 04, 2018
Male or female? In many reptiles sex determination is temperature-dependent. But how this works has been a mystery for 50 years... New insights have emerged from work by Chutian Ge and his collegues who show that ancient conserved epigentic machinary is involved in the thermosensitive regulation of key sex genes. Team Pogona was asked to provide a perspective on the new findings. We have received many enquiries since. In this post, we explain more fully what we believe is going on.
Posted in Pogona Research on Mar 15, 2018
Congratulations to IAE student, Duminda Dissanayake, on receiving a grant from the National Geographic to progress understanding of sex reversal by temperature in the three-lined skink and to advance broader implications of sex reversal more generally. Sex reversal in the XX/XY skink complements sex reversal in the ZZ/ZW dragon very nicely indeed.
Posted in Pogona Research on Jan 24, 2018
Congratulations to Sarah Whiteley and Duminda Dissanayake on the receipt of CSIRO Scholarships in support of their PhD work. These scholarships carry both a top-up to living allowance and project funds. Both students are working within Team Pogona.
Posted in Pogona Research on Nov 21, 2017
Congratulations to Sarah Whiteley on acceptance by the journal EvoDevo of her honours work. In it she not only characterizes in great detail the embryonic development of the dragon but shows that sex reversal does not interfere with body or genital development in a way that might compromise viability.
Posted in Pogona Research on Oct 21, 2017
Professor Jenny Graves from La Trobe University was honoured last week as recipient of the Prime Minister's Prize for Science. This is Australia's top science prize. The prize is in recognition of an outstanding career in science during which Professor Graves made a number of discoveries and generated many new insights to vertebrate chromosome evolution. Professor Graves is a Thinker in Residence at the IAE.
Posted in Pogona Research on Sep 03, 2017
Welcome to Sarah Whiteley who joins Team Pogona from Queensland University where she recently completed her honours on sex reversal and temporary pseudohermaphroditism in the Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps). Sarah was awarded first class honours for her work, which has since been submitted in part for publication.
Posted in Pogona Research on Jun 28, 2017
The mechanism by which temperature exerts its influence on offpring sex has baffled scientists for over 50 years, since the phenomenon was first discovered. In a paper recently published in Science Advances (June 14, 2017), we believe we have discovered an important piece of the puzzle, a temperature sensitive transcripional modification to an influential chromatin modifying gene, Jumonji.