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Y-chromosome degeneration due to speciation and founder effect

Zhang, Yongjun (2024) Y-chromosome degeneration due to speciation and founder effect. [Preprint]


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The Y chromosome in the XY sex-determination system is often shorter than its X counterpart, a condition attributed to degeneration after Y recombination ceases. Contrary to the traditional view of continuous, gradual degeneration, our study reveals stabilization within large mating populations. In these populations, we demonstrate that both mutant and active alleles on the Y chromosome can reach equilibrium through a mutation-selection balance. However, the emergence of a new species, particularly through the founder effect, can disrupt this equilibrium. Specifically, if the male founders of a new species carry only a mutant allele for a particular Y-linked gene, this allele becomes fixed, leading to the loss of the corresponding active gene on the Y chromosome. Our findings suggest that the rate of Y-chromosome degeneration may be linked to the frequency of speciation events associated with single-male founder events.

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Item Type: Preprint
Zhang, Yongjunyong.j.zhang@gmail.com0000-0002-9087-6369
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in Acta Biotheoretica
Keywords: sex chromosome, equilibrium, evolution, founder effect, speciation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Depositing User: Dr. Yongjun Zhang
Date Deposited: 26 May 2024 03:45
Last Modified: 26 May 2024 03:45
Item ID: 23462
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Date: 20 May 2024

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