Sex-linked Genes

Sex Chromosomes

For the most part, mammals have gender determined by the presence of the Y chromosome. This chromosome is gene poor and a specific area called sex determining region on Y (SRY) is responsible for the initiation of the male sex determination. The X-chromosome is rich in genes while the Y-chromosome is a gene desert. The presence of an X-chromosome is absolutely necessary to produce a viable life form and the default gender of mammals is traditionally female.

Human chromosome X - 550 bphs
The human X-chromosome
Human chromosome Y - 550 bphs
The minuscule human Y-chromosome












Chromosomal painting techniques can reveal the gender origin of mammalian cells. By using fluorescent marker sequences that can hybridize specifically to X or Y chromosomes through Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH), gender can be identified in cells.

X Y chromosome
The male cells have an X and a Y while the female cells have X and X combination.

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