A profunda ignorância dos cientistas sobre a origem dos sexos

sábado, maio 27, 2017

Sex chromosome evolution: historical insights and future perspectives

Jessica K. Abbott, Anna K. Nordén, Bengt Hansson

Published 3 May 2017.DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.2806


Many separate-sexed organisms have sex chromosomes controlling sex determination. Sex chromosomes often have reduced recombination, specialized (frequently sex-specific) gene content, dosage compensation and heteromorphic size. Research on sex determination and sex chromosome evolution has increased over the past decade and is today a very active field. However, some areas within the field have not received as much attention as others. We therefore believe that a historic overview of key findings and empirical discoveries will put current thinking into context and help us better understand where to go next. Here, we present a timeline of important conceptual and analytical models, as well as empirical studies that have advanced the field and changed our understanding of the evolution of sex chromosomes. Finally, we highlight gaps in our knowledge so far and propose some specific areas within the field that we recommend a greater focus on in the future, including the role of ecology in sex chromosome evolution and new multilocus models of sex chromosome divergence.

Authors' contributions

A.K.N., B.H. and J.K.A. all contributed to developing the ideas presented here and wrote the manuscript together. A.K.N. created figure 1 and J.K.A. created table 1.

Competing interests

We declare we have no competing interests.


This work has been supported by ERC-StG-2015-678148 (to J.K.A.) and VR-2014-5222 (to B.H.).


The authors thank two anonymous reviewers for constructive feedback on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Received January 12, 2017.
Accepted April 4, 2017.
© 2017 The Authors.

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Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.