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The story of X -- evolution of a sex chromosome
Date:4/16/2009

won't affect females.

"Conversely, the X chromosome becomes feminized with genes that are good for the female but detrimental to the male," said Bachtrog, adding that the X also becomes demasculinized, losing genes that are of use only in the male.

In search of more insights into the evolution of the X chromosome, Bachtrog said she is looking for fruit fly species with older and younger sex chromosomes "to study sex chromosome evolution in action." She said evidence suggests that adaptation to being a sex chromosome is most intense between 1 and 10 million years after it starts. Bachtrog also is completing assembly of the genome sequence for D. miranda, which is not among the 12 species of Drosophila currently targeted by the genome sequencing community. She hopes that the fly will become a model system like D. melanogaster.

"Now, finally, we are within reach of studying model systems like D. miranda that we couldn't think of several years ago," she said, predicting that "whole genome comparisons will revolutionize evolutionary biology, ecology and many other fields."


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Contact: Robert Sanders
rsanders@berkeley.edu
510-643-6998
University of California - Berkeley
Source:Eurekalert

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