No amicable divorce? Challenging the notion that sexual antagonism drives sex chromosome evolution

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Abstract

Although sexual antagonism may have played a role in forming some sex chromosome systems, there appears to be little empirical or theoretical justification in assuming that it is the driving force in all cases of sex chromosome evolution. In many species, sex chromosomes have diverged in size and shape through the accumulation of mutations in regions of suppressed recombination. It is commonly assumed that recombination is suppressed in sex chromosomes due to selection to resolve sexually antagonistic pleiotropy. However, the requirement for a sex chromosome-specific mechanism for suppressing recombination is questionable, since more general models of recombination suppression on autosomes also appear to be applicable to sex chromosomes. Direct tests of the predictions of the sexual antagonism hypothesis offer only limited support in specific sex chromosome systems and circumstantial evidence remains open to interpretation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-726
Number of pages9
JournalBioEssays
Volume32
Issue number8
Early online date20 Jul 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

Keywords

  • antagonism
  • chromosomes
  • heteromorphy
  • recombination
  • sex

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