Sex-limited chromosomes and non-reproductive traits

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Sex chromosomes are typically viewed as having originated from a pair of autosomes, and differentiated as the sex-limited chromosome (e.g. Y) has degenerated by losing most genes through cessation of recombination. While often thought that degenerated sex-limited chromosomes primarily affect traits involved in sex determination and sex cell production, accumulating evidence suggests they also influence traits not sex-limited or directly involved in reproduction. Here, we provide an overview of the effects of sex-limited chromosomes on non-reproductive traits in XY, ZW or UV sex determination systems, and discuss evolutionary processes maintaining variation at sex-limited chromosomes and molecular mechanisms affecting non-reproductive traits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number156
Number of pages18
JournalBMC Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 6

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Genetics
  • Evolutionary Biology

Free keywords

  • Gene expression
  • Heterochromatin
  • Loss of chromosome Y
  • Sex differences
  • UV chromosomes
  • W chromosome
  • Y chromosome


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