Genomic architecture constrained placental mammal X Chromosome evolution. Academic Article uri icon


  • Susumu Ohno proposed that the gene content of the mammalian X Chromosome should remain highly conserved due to dosage compensation. X Chromosome linkage (gene order) conservation is widespread in placental mammals but does not fall within the scope of Ohno's prediction and may be an indirect result of selection on gene content or selection against rearrangements that might disrupt X-Chromosome inactivation (XCI). Previous comparisons between the human and mouse X Chromosome sequences have suggested that although single-copy X Chromosome genes are conserved between species, most ampliconic genes were independently acquired. To better understand the evolutionary and functional constraints on X-linked gene content and linkage conservation in placental mammals, we aligned a new, high-quality, long-read X Chromosome reference assembly from the domestic cat (incorporating 19.3 Mb of targeted BAC clone sequence) to the pig, human, and mouse assemblies. A comprehensive analysis of annotated X-linked orthologs in public databases demonstrated that the majority of ampliconic gene families were present on the ancestral placental X Chromosome. We generated a domestic cat Hi-C contact map from an F1 domestic cat/Asian leopard cat hybrid and demonstrated the formation of the bipartite structure found in primate and rodent inactivated X Chromosomes. Conservation of gene order and recombination patterns is attributable to strong selective constraints on three-dimensional genomic architecture necessary for superloop formation. Species with rearranged X Chromosomes retain the ancestral order and relative spacing of loci critical for superloop formation during XCI, with compensatory inversions evolving to maintain these long-range physical interactions.

published proceedings

  • Genome Res

altmetric score

  • 35.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Brashear, W. A., Bredemeyer, K. R., & Murphy, W. J.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Brashear, Wesley A||Bredemeyer, Kevin R||Murphy, William J

publication date

  • January 2021