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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2004 Dec;14(6):634-41.

Sex chromosome evolution in non-mammalian vertebrates.

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Physiologische Chemie I, Biozentrum der Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.


Birds, reptiles, amphibia and fish have an enormous variety of chromosomal sex determination mechanisms that apparently do not follow any phylogenetic or taxonomic scheme. A similar picture is now emerging at the molecular level. Most genes that function downstream of the mammalian master sex-determining gene, Sry, have been found in non-mammalian vertebrates. Although the components of the machinery that determines sex seem to be conserved, their interaction and most importantly the initial trigger is not the same in all vertebrates. This variety is the consequence of the extremely dynamic process of the evolution of sex determination mechanisms and sex chromosomes, which is prone to create differences rather than uniformity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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