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:5/20/2016)... , May 20, 2016  VoiceIt is excited ... with VoicePass. By working together, VoiceIt ...  Because VoiceIt and VoicePass take slightly different approaches ... increases both security and usability. ... about this new partnership. "This marketing ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a provider of ... MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) , a ... projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple complex biometric ... combination of fingerprint, face or iris biometrics. It ... and MegaMatcher Accelerator , which have ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products ... the United States denied its ... the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 ... criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... PHILADELPHIA , June 27, 2016  Liquid ... today announced the funding of a Sponsored Research ... study circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from cancer patients.  ... changes in CTC levels correlate with clinical outcomes ... therapies. These data will then be employed to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed medical journal articles ... findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving Mesothelioma website. ... blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help point doctors to ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 A person commits a crime, and the ... track the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne ... Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria ... far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, ... foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing ...
Breaking Biology Technology: