The guppy sex chromosome system and the sexually antagonistic polymorphism hypothesis for y chromosome recombination suppression

Deborah Charlesworth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Sex chromosomes regularly evolve suppressed recombination, distinguishing them from other chromosomes, and the reason for this has been debated for many years. It is now clear that non-recombining sex-linked regions have arisen in different ways in different organisms. A major hypothesis is that a sex-determining gene arises on a chromosome and that sexually antagonistic (SA) selection (sometimes called intra-locus sexual conflict) acting at a linked gene has led to the evolution of recombination suppression in the region, to reduce the frequency of low fitness recombinant genotypes produced. The sex chromosome system of the guppy (Poecilia reticulata) is often cited as supporting this hypothesis because SA selection has been demonstrated to act on male coloration in natural populations of this fish, and probably contributes to maintaining polymorphisms for the genetic factors involved. I review classical genetic and new molecular genetic results from the guppy, and other fish, including approaches for identifying the genome regions carrying sex-determining loci, and suggest that the guppy may exemplify a recently proposed route to sex chromosome evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number264
Number of pages18
JournalGenes
Volume9
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2018

Keywords

  • Genetic
  • Sexual conflict
  • Sexual dimorphism

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