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Boy or girl? It's in the father's genes
Date:12/11/2008

born after wars, it may also cause more boys to be born each year.

How does the gene work?

The trees (below) illustrate how the gene works. It is a simplified example, in which men either have only sons, only daughters, or equal numbers of each, though in reality it is less clear cut. It shows that although the gene has no effect in females, they also carry the gene and pass it to their children.

In the first family tree (A) the grandfather is mm, so all his children are male. He only passes on the m allele, so his children are more likely to have the mm combination of alleles themselves. As a result, those sons may also have only sons (as shown). The grandsons have the mf combination of alleles, because they inherited an m from their father and an f from their mother. As a result, they have an equal number of sons and daughters (the great grandchildren).

In the second tree (B) the grandfather is ff, so all his children are female, they have the ff combination of alleles because their father and mother were both ff. One of the female children has her own children with a male who has the mm combination of alleles. That male determines the sex of the children, so the grandchildren are all male. The grandsons have the mf combination of alleles, because they inherited an m from their father and f from their mother. As a result, they have an equal number of sons and daughters (the great-grandchildren).

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office/press.release/photos/516diagram_06.1.jpg


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Contact: Karen Bidewell
karen.bidewell@ncl.ac.uk
44-019-122-27850
Newcastle University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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