Institute of Evolutionary Biology, School of Biological Sciences
University of Edinburgh
Title: "Why are sex-determining genes located within non-recombining genome regions?"
Abstract: I would like to discuss this question, because recent data coming from whole genome sequencing is providing new information about the relationship between genetic and physical maps. These data can now help us start to understand which species have sex-linked genome regions in which recombination has become suppressed since the sex-determining genes evolved, versus the alternative that the sex-determining genes evolved in ancestrally non-recombining regions. To study the question of why suppressed recombination often characterises sex-determining genome regions, we need to know which cases actually involved selectively driven recombination suppression. Such regions also raise other interesting questions, including offering the potential for studying the time course of genetic degeneration of such regions after recombination stops, and the evolution of dosage compensation. I will discuss these questions in relation to recent studies of the guppy, Poecilia reticulata, a fish which has pronounced sexual dimorphism in recombination patterns.