Sex chromosome evolution: platypus gene mapping suggests that part of the human X chromosome was originally autosomal. Academic Article uri icon


  • To investigate the evolution of the mammalian sex chromosomes, we have compared the gene content of the X chromosomes in the mammalian groups most distantly related to man (marsupials and monotremes). Previous work established that genes on the long arm of the human X chromosome are conserved on the X chromosomes in all mammals, revealing that this region was part of an ancient mammalian X chromosome. However, we now report that several genes located on the short arm of the human X chromosome are absent from the platypus X chromosome, as well as from the marsupial X chromosome. Because monotremes and marsupials diverged independently from eutherian mammals, this finding implies that the whole human X short arm region is a relatively recent addition to the X chromosome in eutherian mammals.

publication date

  • December 15, 1991