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Sex, sex chromosomes and gene expression

Xuemei Lu1 and Chung-I Wu12*

Author affiliations

1 Laboratory of Disease Genomics and Individualized Medicine, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen West Road, Chaoyang, Beijing, China

2 Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, 5801 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

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Citation and License

BMC Biology 2011, 9:30  doi:10.1186/1741-7007-9-30

Published: 4 May 2011


The X chromosome has fewer testis-specific genes than autosomes in many species. This bias is commonly attributed to X inactivation in spermatogenesis but a recent paper in BMC Biology provides evidence against X inactivation in Drosophila and proposes that somatic tissue- and testis- but not ovary-specific genes tend not to be located on the X chromosome. Here, we discuss possible mechanisms underlying this bias, including sexual antagonism and dosage compensation.

See research article webcite