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Science. 2003 Jan 31;299(5607):697-700. Epub 2003 Jan 2.

Paucity of genes on the Drosophila X chromosome showing male-biased expression.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Developmental Biology, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, MD 20892-8028, USA.


Sex chromosomes are primary determinants of sexual dimorphism in many organisms. These chromosomes are thought to arise via the divergence of an ancestral autosome pair and are almost certainly influenced by differing selection in males and females. Exploring how sex chromosomes differ from autosomes is highly amenable to genomic analysis. We examined global gene expression in Drosophila melanogaster and report a dramatic underrepresentation of X-chromosome genes showing high relative expression in males. Using comparative genomics, we find that these same X-chromosome genes are exceptionally poorly conserved in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae. These data indicate that the X chromosome is a disfavored location for genes selectively expressed in males.

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