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Biol Lett. 2009 Jun 23;5(3):409-12. doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2008.0732. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

Are sex-biased genes more dispensable?

Author information

1
Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK. judith.mank@zoo.ox.ac.uk

Abstract

Many genes show different expression levels in males and females, and these form the basis of sexually dimorphic phenotypes. Sex-biased genes experience accelerated rates of protein evolution, which has been attributed to sexual selection. However, it is possible that the increased rates of molecular evolution, and more importantly the sex-biased gene expression pattern itself, are due to decreased selective constraint. This notion may explain many of the patterns associated with sex-biased gene expression, and changes how we should view the role of natural and sexual selection in relation to these genes.

PMID:
19433612
PMCID:
PMC2679909
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2008.0732
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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