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Unusual mammalian sex determination systems: a cabinet of curiosities

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Saunders, PA and Veyrunes, F 2021 , 'Unusual mammalian sex determination systems: a cabinet of curiosities' , Genes, vol. 12, no. 11 , pp. 1-21 , doi: 10.3390/genes12111770.

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Abstract

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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Saunders, PA and Veyrunes, F
Keywords: mammals, rodents, sex determination, sex chromosomes, meiosis
Journal or Publication Title: Genes
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
ISSN: 2073-4425
DOI / ID Number: 10.3390/genes12111770
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 The AuthorsLicensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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