Why Do Sex Chromosomes Stop Recombining?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It is commonly assumed that sex chromosomes evolve recombination suppression because selection favours linkage between sex-determining and sexually antagonistic genes. However, although the role of sexual antagonism during sex chromosome evolution has attained strong support from theory, experimental and observational evidence is rare or equivocal. Here, we highlight alternative, often neglected, hypotheses for recombination suppression on sex chromosomes, which invoke meiotic drive, heterozygote advantage, and genetic drift, respectively. We contrast the hypotheses, the situations when they are likely to be of importance, and outline why it is surprisingly difficult to test them. Lastly, we discuss future research directions (including modelling, population genomics, comparative approaches, and experiments) to disentangle the different hypotheses of sex chromosome evolution.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Genetics

Keywords

  • heterozygote advantage, meiotic drive, recombination suppression, sex chromosome, sex determination, sexual antagonism
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-503
JournalTrends in Genetics
Volume34
Issue number7
Early online date2018 Apr 30
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes