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UT Arlington scientists suggest 'Fragile Y Hypothesis' to explain chromosome loss
Date:6/17/2014

ntral to ensuring that sperm receive either an X or Y chromosome.

Previous genetics research has shown that natural selection narrows the area of recombination between the X and Y, allowing different versions of a gene to be passed on to the sex that they benefit the most. The PAR shrinkage makes the production of offspring without an X or Y from the father more likely, the new paper said.

In addition, there are some species where there is no pseudoautosomal region and special proteins shepherd the X and Y chromosome on their way to the sperm cells. The UT Arlington's team's theory says this lack of dependence on a PAR makes those species less likely to suffer the loss of a Y.

The UT Arlington team's beetle results stand up to comparison in the mammal world. Placental mammals normally require a PAR to faithfully segregate the X and Y into sperm while marsupials like kangaroos do not. As predicted by the hypothesis the placental mammals have lost the Y chromosome a number of times while marsupials have not. Additionally within placental mammals, it is those with smaller PARs such as rodents that have lost the Y most often.

"The confirmation in the patterns that we then found in mammals is important because it means that even in groups separated by hundreds of millions of years the pattern predicted by this hypothesis are found," Blackmon said, adding that mammals and birds appear to have "unusually stable sex chromosomes and sex determination." Many other animals groups, including fish, show that sex chromosomes are more easily altered by evolution, he said.


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Contact: Traci Peterson
tpeterso@uta.edu
817-521-5494
University of Texas at Arlington
Source:Eurekalert  

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UT Arlington scientists suggest 'Fragile Y Hypothesis' to explain chromosome loss
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