Navigation Links
Sex talk revelations of the lonely Y chromosome
Date:9/10/2009

In the week that the University of Leicester celebrates the 25th anniversary of the discovery of DNA fingerprinting (Thursday September 10) new findings from the world-renowned University of Leicester Department of Genetics reveal for the first time that the male and female do truly communicate at least at the fundamental genetic level.

The research counters scientific theory that the X and Y chromosomes - that define the sexes - did not communicate at all.

The research is funded by the Wellcome Trust, and published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. In it Dr Zo Rosser and colleagues have shown that exchange of DNA does actually occur between the X and Y in the regions previously thought to be completely isolated.

Professor Mark Jobling, who led the study, said: "Recently it was shown that the Y chromosome can talk to itself swapping bits of DNA from one region to another, and potentially giving it a way to fix mutations that might affect male fertility. In this new research we've now shown that it actually maintains a genetic conversation with the X chromosome, potentially giving it a way to fix other kinds of mutations, too. So, maybe it's not quite the dysfunctional loner we have always imagined it to be."

The X and Y chromosomes have a vital role- sex is determined by them. Apart from the 22 pairs of regular chromosomes all of us share, women have two X chromosomes, while men have only one X but also the smaller Y chromosome. It's the Y that determines maleness by triggering development of testes rather than ovaries in the early embryo.

Professor Jobling said: "These days the X and Y are a very odd couple, but long ago, before mammals evolved, they were an ordinary pair of identical chromosomes, exchanging DNA in a companionable way through the process of genetic recombination. However, once the Y chromosome took on the job of determining maleness, they stopped talking to each other. The X remained much the same, but the Y set out on a path of degeneration that saw it lose many of its genes and shrink to about one third the size of the X. Some scientists have predicted that it will eventually vanish altogether.

"These new findings from the Department of Genetics of the University of Leicester now challenge this interpretation of the Y chromosome's fate."

The Leicester researchers discovered that the conversation between the X and Y chromosome goes both ways, and it's also clear that mutations arising on a decaying Y chromosome can be passed to the X the Y chromosome's revenge, perhaps! Future work will assess how widespread X-Y exchanges have been during evolution, and what the likely functional effects might be.


'/>"/>

Contact: Professor Mark Jobling
44-116-252-3427
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. UGA researchers propose model for disorders caused by improper transmission of chromosomes
2. Double success for Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia scientists working on chromosome segregation
3. Female human embryos adjust the balance of X chromosomes before implantation
4. Slicing chromosomes leads to new insights into cell division
5. The story of X -- evolution of a sex chromosome
6. Evolutionary origin of bacterial chromosomes revealed
7. Y chromosome and surname study challenges infidelity myth
8. Mayo: Variants in gene on X chromosome associated with increased susceptibility to Alzheimers
9. How chromosomes meet in the dark -- Switch that turns on X chromosome matchmaking
10. Keeping chromosomes from cuddling up
11. Photosynthesizing bacteria with a day-night cycle contain rare chromosome
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2017)... TOKYO , Feb. 1, 2017  Central ... innovative and meaningful advances worldwide, The Japan Prize ... Japan Prize, who have pushed the envelope in ... Information and Communication. Three scientists are being recognized ... outstanding achievements that not only contribute to the ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity Market Intelligence today ... and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 as a ... increased adoption reflects a new understanding of the ... "Biometrics and digital identity are often perceived as ... Most , Principal of Acuity Market intelligence. "However, ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... voice recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of 19.36% ... present scenario and the growth prospects of the global voice recognition ... considers the revenue generated from the sales of voice recognition biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  MIODx announced ... for two key immunotherapy technologies from the University ... provides a method to monitor a patient for ... PD-L1 and CTLA-4.  The second license extends the ... patient is likely to have an immune-related adverse ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017  Seattle,s upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, with its ... place for a head lice treatment salon to set up ... Tuscan restaurant and a French bistro on E Madison Ave, ... aren,t just any old lice clinic, we pride ourselves on ... and release some of the stigma associated with lice. Everyone ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... de novo clearance to begin marketing the SPEAC® System, the Brain Sentinel® Seizure ... at home or in healthcare facilities during periods of rest. A lightweight, non-invasive ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... annual Inventors Recognition Reception at Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, ... in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue ...
Breaking Biology Technology: