Features of the Y Chromosome

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Human Uniqueness Compared to "Great Apes": 
Absolute Difference

Chromosome Y is the male sex chromosome. Evidence indicates it is undergoing more rapid evolution than the rest of the genome. Human and apes both have a pericentric inversion in chromosome Y. These inversions arose independently and the human inversion is unique with respect to content and breakpoint location. Humans also have a unique C-band on chromosome Y that is not shared with apes, and chromosome Y has the most human lineage specific segmental duplications of any chromosome. Multiple genes have been altered during human chromosome Y evolution via processes such as deletion, duplication and gene conversion, one example being double homeobox (DUX) genes 2-4 that appear to have undergone neofunctionalization.

The Human Difference: 

Pericentric inversion
Centromere expansion
Gene neofunctionalization

Related MOCA Topics
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Referenced By:
Title Certainty
Chromatin-Stained Banding Patterns True
DUX True


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  2. Chimpanzee and human Y chromosomes are remarkably divergent in structure and gene content, Hughes, Jennifer F., Skaletsky Helen, Pyntikova Tatyana, Graves Tina A., van Daalen Saskia K. M., Minx Patrick J., Fulton Robert S., McGrath Sean D., Locke Devin P., Friedman Cynthia, et al. , Nature, 01/2010, Volume 463, Issue 7280, p.536 - 539, (2010)
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  6. Evolution of chromosome Y in primates., Archidiacono, N, Storlazzi C T., Spalluto C, Ricco A S., Marzella R, and Rocchi M , Chromosoma, 1998 Sep, Volume 107, Issue 4, p.241-6, (1998)