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Publication Detail
Guppy Y chromosome integrity maintained by incomplete recombination suppression
The loss of recombination triggers divergence between the sex chromosomes and promotes degeneration of the sex-limited chromosome. Several livebearers within the genus Poecilia share a male-heterogametic sex chromosome system that is roughly 20 million years old, with extreme variation in the degree of Y chromosome divergence. In P. picta, the Y is highly degenerate and associated with complete X chromosome dosage compensation. In contrast, although recombination is restricted across almost the entire length of the sex chromosomes in P. reticulata and P wingei, divergence between the X and the Y chromosome is very low. This clade therefore offers a unique opportunity to study the forces that accelerate or hinder sex chromosome divergence. We used RNA-seq data from multiple families of both P. reticulata and P. wingei, the species with low levels of sex chromosome divergence, to differentiate X and Y coding sequence based on sex-limited SNP inheritance. Phylogenetic tree analyses reveal that occasional recombination has persisted between the sex chromosomes for much of their length, as X- and Y-linked sequences cluster by species instead of by gametolog. This incomplete recombination suppression maintains the extensive homomorphy observed in these systems. In addition, we see differences between the previously identified strata in the phylogenetic clustering of X-Y orthologs, with those that cluster by chromosome located in the older stratum, the region previously associated with the sex-determining locus. However, recombination arrest appears to have expanded throughout the sex chromosomes more gradually instead of through a stepwise process associated with inversions.
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