Genome Size Evolution within and between the Sexes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Genome sizes are known to vary between closely related species, but the patterns behind this variation have yet to be fully understood. Although this variation has been evaluated between species and within sexes, unknown is the extent to which this variation is driven by differentiation in sex chromosomes. To address this longstanding question, we examine the mode and tempo of genome size evolution for a total of 87 species of Drosophilidae, estimating and updating male genome size values for 44 of these species. We compare the evolution of genome size within each sex to the evolution of the differences between the sexes. Utilizing comparative phylogenetic methods, we find that male and female genome size evolution is largely a neutral process, reflective of phylogenetic relatedness between species, which supports the newly proposed accordion model for genome size change. When similarly analyzed, the difference between the sexes due to heteromorphic sex chromosomes is a dynamic process; the male-female genome size difference increases with time with or without known neo-Y events or complete loss of the Y. Observed instances of rapid change match theoretical expectations and known neo-Y and Y loss events in individual species.

published proceedings

  • J Hered

altmetric score

  • 3.45

author list (cited authors)

  • Hjelmen, C. E., Garrett, M. A., Holmes, V. R., Mynes, M., Piron, E., & Johnston, J. S.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Hjelmen, Carl E||Garrett, Margaret A||Holmes, V Renee||Mynes, Melissa||Piron, Elizabeth||Johnston, J Spencer

publication date

  • March 2019