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Genet Res. 1994 Dec;64(3):151-9.

The testis-determining gene, SRY, exists in multiple copies in Old World rodents.

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Department of Cell Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Medical Center North, Nashville, TN 37232-2175.


SRY is a unique gene on the Y chromosome in most mammalian species including the laboratory mouse, Mus musculus, and the closely related European wild mouse species M. spicilegus, M. macedonicus, and M. spretus. In contrast, SRY is present in 2-6 copies in the more distantly related Asian mouse species M. caroli, M. cervicolor, and M. cookii and in 2-13 copies in the related murid species Pyromys saxicola, Coelomys pahari, Nannomys minutoides, Mastomys natalensis, and Rattus norvegicus. Copy numbers do not correlate with known phylogenetic relationships suggesting that SRY has undergone a rapid and complex evolution in these species. SRY was recently proposed as a molecular probe for phylogenetic inferences. The presence of multiple SRY genes in a wide range of murid species and genera, and at least one cricetid species, necessitates caution in the use of SRY for phylogenetic studies in the Rodentia unless it is ascertained that multiple SRY genes do not exist.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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