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Evolution of sex determination and the Y chromosome: SRY-related sequences in marsupials


IN mammals, testis determination is under the control of the testis-determining factor borne by the Y chromosome1,2. SRY, a gene cloned from the sex-determining region of the human Y chromosome, has been equated with the testis-determining factor in man3–5 and mouse6,7. We have used a human SRY probe to identify and clone related genes from the Y chromosome of two marsupial species. Comparisons of eutherian and metatherian Y-located SRY sequences suggest rapid evolution of these genes, especially outside the region encoding the DNA-binding HMG box. The SRY homologues, together with the mouse Ubely homologues8, are the first genes to be identified on the marsupial Y chromosome.

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Foster, J., Brennan, F., Hampikian, G. et al. Evolution of sex determination and the Y chromosome: SRY-related sequences in marsupials. Nature 359, 531–533 (1992).

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