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Unusual mammalian sex determination systems: a cabinet of curiosities


Saunders, PA and Veyrunes, F, Unusual mammalian sex determination systems: a cabinet of curiosities, Genes, 12, (11) pp. 1-21. ISSN 2073-4425 (2021) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2021 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.3390/genes12111770


Therian mammals have among the oldest and most conserved sex-determining systems known to date. Any deviation from the standard XX/XY mammalian sex chromosome constitution usually leads to sterility or poor fertility, due to the high differentiation and specialization of the X and Y chromosomes. Nevertheless, a handful of rodents harbor so-called unusual sex-determining systems. While in some species, fertile XY females are found, some others have completely lost their Y chromosome. These atypical species have fascinated researchers for over 60 years, and constitute unique natural models for the study of fundamental processes involved in sex determination in mammals and vertebrates. In this article, we review current knowledge of these species, discuss their similarities and differences, and attempt to expose how the study of their exceptional sex-determining systems can further our understanding of general processes involved in sex chromosome and sex determination evolution.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:mammals, rodents, sex determination, sex chromosomes, meiosis
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Developmental genetics (incl. sex determination)
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Saunders, PA (Dr Paul Saunders)
ID Code:152176
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2022-08-12
Last Modified:2022-09-07
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