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Sequence of the chicken sex chromosomes

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dc.contributor.advisor David C. Page. en_US
dc.contributor.author Bellott, Daniel Winston en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Biology. en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2010-09-01T13:42:53Z
dc.date.available 2010-09-01T13:42:53Z
dc.date.copyright 2010 en_US
dc.date.issued 2010 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/57992
dc.description Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Biology, 2010. en_US
dc.description Cataloged from PDF version of thesis. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_US
dc.description.abstract In birds, as in mammals, the chromosome complement determines sex. Male birds are designated ZZ, female ZW. Mammals have the opposite system; males are XY and females XX. Both the avian ZW and mammalian XY pair are believed to have evolved from autosomes, with dramatic changes, both gene loss as well as gene acquisition and amplification occurring on the sex-specific W and Y chromosomes. In contrast, Z and X chromosomes are assumed to have diverged little from their autosomal progenitors. The Z and W sex chromosomes of the chicken provide a unique opportunity to study the evolution of sex chromosomes in a second lineage with an alternate system of heterogamety. We produced the finished sequence of the chicken Z chromosome and generated female-specific markers necessary to produce a complete sequence of the chicken W chromosome. Already our analysis of the Z chromosome has revealed that the sex chromosomes of birds evolved independently of the sex chromosomes of mammals. Despite this independence, the chicken Z chromosome converged on a suite of features analogous to those of the human X chromosome: low gene density, an enrichment for interspersed repeats, and large multi-copy gene families expressed in the testis. These features arose during the evolution of the Z and X chromosomes as sex chromosomes, overturning the notion that Z and X chromosomes are evolutionarily stable. Our preliminary efforts on the W chromosome have provided insights into its structure and underscore the ubiquity of gene acquisition and amplification on vertebrate sex chromosomes. As we accumulate genomic data from additional sex chromosomes, explaining the evolutionary forces that result in gene acquisition and amplification will remain a major challenge. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility by Daniel Winston Bellott. en_US
dc.format.extent 214 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Biology. en_US
dc.title Sequence of the chicken sex chromosomes en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree Ph.D. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Biology. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 654107223 en_US


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