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1 December 2009 Sex Reversal: A Fountain of Youth for Sex Chromosomes?
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Abstract

Nonrecombining Y chromosomes are expected to degenerate through the progressive accumulation of deleterious mutations. In lower vertebrates, however, most species display homomorphic sex chromosomes. To address this, paradox I propose a role for sex reversal, which occasionally occurs in ectotherms due to the general dependence of physiological processes on temperature. Because sex-specific recombination patterns depend on phenotypic, rather than genotypic sex, homomorphic X and Y chromosomes are expected to recombine in sex-reversed females. These rare events should generate bursts of new Y haplotypes, which will be quickly sorted out by natural or sexual selection. By counteracting Muller's ratchet, this regular purge should prevent the evolutionary decay of Y chromosomes. I review empirical data supporting this suggestion, and propose further investigations for testing it.

© 2009 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
Nicolas Perrin "Sex Reversal: A Fountain of Youth for Sex Chromosomes?," Evolution 63(12), 3043-3049, (1 December 2009). https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00837.x
Received: 8 July 2009; Accepted: 1 August 2009; Published: 1 December 2009
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