Paucity of Genes on the Drosophila X Chromosome Showing Male-Biased Expression

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Science  31 Jan 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5607, pp. 697-700
DOI: 10.1126/science.1079190

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Sex chromosomes are primary determinants of sexual dimorphism in many organisms. These chromosomes are thought to arise via the divergence of an ancestral autosome pair and are almost certainly influenced by differing selection in males and females. Exploring how sex chromosomes differ from autosomes is highly amenable to genomic analysis. We examined global gene expression inDrosophila melanogaster and report a dramatic underrepresentation of X-chromosome genes showing high relative expression in males. Using comparative genomics, we find that these same X-chromosome genes are exceptionally poorly conserved in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae. These data indicate that the X chromosome is a disfavored location for genes selectively expressed in males.

  • * Present address: Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405–3700, USA.

  • Present address: Quantum Dot Corporation, Hayward, CA 94545, USA.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: oliver{at}

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