Complex evolutionary trajectories of sex chromosomes across bird taxa

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

208 Scopus Citations
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Author(s)

  • Qi Zhou
  • Doris Bachtrog
  • Na An
  • Quanfei Huang
  • Erich D. Jarvis
  • M. Thomas P. Gilbert
  • Guojie Zhang

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Article number1246338
Journal / PublicationScience
Volume346
Issue number6215
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

Sex-specific chromosomes, like the W of most female birds and the Y of male mammals, usually have lost most genes owing to a lack of recombination.We analyze newly available genomes of 17 bird species representing the avian phylogenetic range, and find that more than half of them do not have as fully degenerated W chromosomes as that of chicken. We show that avian sex chromosomes harbor tremendous diversity among species in their composition of pseudoautosomal regions and degree of Z/W differentiation. Punctuated events of shared or lineage-specific recombination suppression have produced a gradient of "evolutionary strata" along the Z chromosome, which initiates from the putative avian sex-determining gene DMRT1 and ends at the pseudoautosomal region.W-linked genes are subject to ongoing functional decay after recombination was suppressed, and the tempo of degeneration slows down in older strata. Overall, we unveil a complex history of avian sex chromosome evolution.

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Citation Format(s)

Complex evolutionary trajectories of sex chromosomes across bird taxa. / Zhou, Qi; Zhang, Jilin; Bachtrog, Doris et al.
In: Science, Vol. 346, No. 6215, 1246338, 12.12.2014.

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review