Genomic origins of insect sex chromosomes

Heath Blackmon, Jeffery P. Demuth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Recent efforts to catalog the diversity of sex chromosome systems coupled with genome sequencing projects are adding a new level of resolution to our understanding of insect sex chromosome origins. Y-chromosome degeneration makes sequencing difficult and may erase homology so rapidly that their origins will often remain enigmatic. X-chromosome origins are better understood, but thus far prove to be remarkably labile, often lacking homology even among close relatives. Furthermore, evidence now suggests that differentiated X or Y-chromosomes may both revert to autosomal inheritance. Data for ZW systems is scarcer, but W and Y-chromosomes seem to share many characteristics. Limited evidence suggests that Z-chromosome homology is more conserved than X counterparts, but broader sampling of both sex chromosome systems is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number73
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Insect Science
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


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