Causes and consequences of reciprocal translocations on sex chromosomes

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Under XY sex determination, the Y chromosome is only inherited via males, whereas the X chromosome is predominantly found in females. Thus, it is favourable when alleles with high male fitness become associated with the Y chromosome and when alleles with high female fitness become associated with the X chromosome. These favourable associations can be strengthened through linkage. Rearrangements, such as inversions and sex chromosome–autosome fusions, can increase linkage and thereby become favoured (Charlesworth, 2017). In a From the Cover article in this issue of Molecular Ecology, Toups, Rodrigues, Perrin, and Kirkpatrick (2019) present the first genomic analysis of a sex chromosome reciprocal translocation, a particularly dramatic chromosomal rearrangement that modifies linkage with the sex chromosome. As a result of reciprocal translocation, one studied population of the common frog (Rana temporaria, Figure 1) displays a remarkable sex-determining system in which there are two physically unlinked sex chromosomes that are exclusively cotransmitted (Figure 2a).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1863-1865
JournalMolecular Ecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

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