Megan Barney

Project: Sex Determination and Differentiation in carp, Cyprinus carpio

PhD submitted August 2009

My project builds on base-line research on the early gonadal development, by exploring the mechanisms underpinning sex determination and differentiation in carp.

Sex determination is influenced by a balance of genetic, steroidogenic and environmental processes and variables. These factors are the primary control directing the course of sex differentiation and the associated physiological processes supporting gonadal development and function. Sex differentiation is the physical realisation of determination as testis and ovary development. Differentiation involves sexually influenced development of morphology, behaviour and biochemical secondary sex characteristics.

In order to control/manipulate the sexual development of carp, these underlying mechanisms must first be understood. My project aims to identify the morphological and molecular processes involved in gonadal development and effects of temperature and exogenous steroidogenic disruptors on sex ratios. Primarily expression profile of candidate genes and their potential role in sex determination/differentiation in carp will be explored.


Bachelor of Aquaculture (Hons). University of Tasmania, 2003.
Honours Thesis: Effect of ration on endocrine condition and vitellogenesis in the spiny damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus.

I have a keen interest in anything to do with water – have worked as a farm hand in Aquaculture, am a qualified Deep and Open Water Diver, was a member on a Young Endeavour 12 day voyage and am an accredited Assistant Instructor of the Australian Yachting Federation.


Barney, M. L., Patil, J. G., Gunasekera, R. M. and Carter, C.G. (2008). Distinct cytochrome P450 aromatase isoforms in the common carp (Cyprinus carpio): Sexual dimorphism and onset of ontogenic expression. General and Comparative Endocrinology 156(3): 499-508.

Powell, M.D., Duif, R., Ransome, J., Barney, M., 2006. Effect of dietary inclusion of N-acetyl cysteine on mucus viscosity and susceptibility of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to amoebic gill disease. In prep.  Journal of World Aquaculture Society.

Pankhurst, N., Barney, M. and Fitzgibbon, Q. Effect of nutrition on reproductive endocrine performance of spiny damselfish, Acanthochromis polyacanthus. 2005. General and Comparative Endocrinology.

Burgess, J., Duijf, R., Barney, M. and Powell, M. 2005. The use of N-acetyl-L-cysteine as in-feed retardant of AGD infection in salmonids. Poster at 2005 Aquafin CRC conference, Hobart.


Project details

CRC Program:
Freshwater Products and Services

University of Tasmania, Hobart

Dr Jawahar Patil, (CSIRO)
Professor Chris Carter (UTas)


2009 Chief Executive's prize for achievement as an IA CRC student

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