Sequence analysis in Bos taurus reveals pervasiveness of X-Y arms races in mammalian lineages. Academic Article uri icon


  • Studies of Y Chromosome evolution have focused primarily on gene decay, a consequence of suppression of crossing-over with the X Chromosome. Here, we provide evidence that suppression of X-Y crossing-over unleashed a second dynamic: selfish X-Y arms races that reshaped the sex chromosomes in mammals as different as cattle, mice, and men. Using super-resolution sequencing, we explore the Y Chromosome of Bos taurus (bull) and find it to be dominated by massive, lineage-specific amplification of testis-expressed gene families, making it the most gene-dense Y Chromosome sequenced to date. As in mice, an X-linked homolog of a bull Y-amplified gene has become testis-specific and amplified. This evolutionary convergence implies that lineage-specific X-Y coevolution through gene amplification, and the selfish forces underlying this phenomenon, were dominatingly powerful among diverse mammalian lineages. Together with Y gene decay, X-Y arms races molded mammalian sex chromosomes and influenced the course of mammalian evolution.

published proceedings

  • Genome Res

altmetric score

  • 43.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Hughes, J. F., Skaletsky, H., Pyntikova, T., Koutseva, N., Raudsepp, T., Brown, L. G., ... Page, D. C.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Hughes, Jennifer F||Skaletsky, Helen||Pyntikova, Tatyana||Koutseva, Natalia||Raudsepp, Terje||Brown, Laura G||Bellott, Daniel W||Cho, Ting-Jan||Dugan-Rocha, Shannon||Khan, Ziad||Kremitzki, Colin||Fronick, Catrina||Graves-Lindsay, Tina A||Fulton, Lucinda||Warren, Wesley C||Wilson, Richard K||Owens, Elaine||Womack, James E||Murphy, William J||Muzny, Donna M||Worley, Kim C||Chowdhary, Bhanu P||Gibbs, Richard A||Page, David C

publication date

  • December 2020