Gonadal sex differentiation in the neonatal marsupial, Monodelphis domestica

P.J. Baker, H.D. Moore, L.M. Penfold, A.M. Burgess, U. Mittwoch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A quantitative and histological study of the gonads of newborn grey short-tailed opossums, Monodelphis domestica, is described. The pups were karyotyped, and comparisons were made within litters segregating for XX and XY sex chromosomes. A total of four litters including 25 pups were available. On the day of birth, developing testes were significantly larger than the ovaries of litter mates, and testes could be histologically distinguished by the formation of sex cords and a tunica albuginea. The data suggest that in this marsupial species gonadal differentiation may be initiated in utero.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-703
Number of pages5
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge, England)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1990


  • marsupialia
  • sex differentiation
  • gonads
  • testis development


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