Mammalian sex chromosomes: design or accident? Academic Article uri icon


  • Mammalian sex chromosomes evolved (and are still evolving) from a homomorphic pair by the progressive loss of active genes from the Y chromosome. Among the changes that have accompanied this differentiation, it is difficult to determine causes, effects and correlates. Comparative studies suggest that the choice of a gene, and thus a chromosome pair, to control the sex-determining pathway may be quite arbitrary, and that sex chromosomes and sex-determining genes are more likely to be the products of random changes than the products of selection for function.

publication date

  • 1992