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Genomics of sex determination

Zhang, Jisen, Boualem, Adnane, Bendahmane, Abdelhafid, Ming, Ray
Current opinion in plant biology 2014 v.18 pp. 110-116
Cucurbitaceae, animals, corn, dioecy, epigenetics, evolution, genes, genomics, hormonal regulation, monoecy, nucleotide sequences, plants (botany), sex chromosomes, sex determination
Sex determination is a major switch in the evolutionary history of angiosperm, resulting 11% monoecious and dioecious species. The genomic sequences of papaya sex chromosomes unveiled the molecular basis of recombination suppression in the sex determination region, and candidate genes for sex determination. Identification and analyses of sex determination genes in cucurbits and maize demonstrated conservation of sex determination mechanism in one lineage and divergence between the two systems. Epigenetic control and hormonal influence of sex determination were elucidated in both plants and animals. Intensive investigation of potential sex determination genes in model species will improve our understanding of sex determination gene network. Such network will in turn accelerate the identification of sex determination genes in dioecious species with sex chromosomes, which are burdensome due to no recombination in sex determining regions. The sex determination genes in dioecious species are crucial for understanding the origin of dioecy and sex chromosomes, particularly in their early stage of evolution.