Learning from genetic fossils on the Y chromosome

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Wilson Sayres, Melissa; Makova, Kateryna D. (2013): Learning from genetic fossils on the Y chromosome. figshare.

Retrieved 04:11, Nov 25, 2015 (GMT)


Mammalian X and Y evolved from a pair of homologous autosomes. In the absence of X-Y recombination, caused by a series of inversions on the Y chromosome, the Y lost much of its gene content. Are some types of genes more likely to be lost? Is it possible to predict the fate of Y-linked genes?

Comments (2)

  • From Fertilization to Adult Sexual Behavior (1996)

    Excerpt: "Genomic-imprinting is also manifest in specific parts of the X-inactivation region’s related XIST gene. Here male- and female-specific methyl-group patterns participate in X-inactivation in females and also in the preferential inactivation of the paternal X in human placentae of female concepti (Harrison, 1989; Monk, 1995). This process indicates that tissues of the early conceptus can sense and react differentially to epigenetic sexual dimorphisms on the female conceptus’ own two X chromosomes. Furthermore, variations of X-inactivation patterns often account for traits discordance in monozygotic twin females. In other words, they are often found to have nonidentical patterns of X-inactivation, yielding differing expression of noticeable X-linked traits (Machin, 1996).

    Pollard (1996) has hypothesized that sexual orientation may be encoded within imprinted genes."

    My comment: If genes were going to be lost, it seems likely that the first among them would be any that might be involved in non-heterosexual orientation. I've seen no evidence of loss across species, which makes other losses less predictable -- doesn't it?

    25/09/2013    by J. Kohl

  • 1. The literature on the relationship between genetics, epigenetics and sexual orientation are far from conclusive.

    2. The functions of each gene in our genome are still being understood (let alone the functional differences between isoforms of the same gene).

    What we show here is that, by knowing the inactivation heterogeneity among X chromosomes, one can predict whether the Y-linked gametolog will have been retained.


    09/10/2013    by M. Wilson Sayres

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