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The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens$
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T. J. Crow

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263112

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.001.0001

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Do the Hominid-Specific Regions of X–Y Homology Contain Candidate Genes Potentially Involved in a Critical Event Linked to Speciation?

Do the Hominid-Specific Regions of X–Y Homology Contain Candidate Genes Potentially Involved in a Critical Event Linked to Speciation?

Chapter:
(p.230) (p.231) Do the Hominid-Specific Regions of X–Y Homology Contain Candidate Genes Potentially Involved in a Critical Event Linked to Speciation?
Source:
The Speciation of Modern Homo Sapiens
Author(s):

Carole A. Sargent

Patricia Blanco

Nabeel A. Affara

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197263112.003.0013

It has been postulated that the critical events leading to major differences between humans and the great apes are associated with major changes on sex chromosomes. Regions of homology between the human sex chromosomes have arisen at different points during mammalian evolution. The two largest blocks are specific to hominids, having appeared at some time after the divergence of humans and chimpanzees. These are the second pairing region found at the telomeres of the sex chromosome long arms and a region of homology between Xq21.3 (X chromosome long arm) and Yp11 (Y chromosome short arm). Questions arise as to whether these regions of the sex chromosomes contain functional genes and these genes might be candidates for the differences in cognitive function that distinguish modern humans from their ancestors. Furthermore, divergence between functional sequences on the X and the Y may lead to a more subtle sexually dimorphic variation.

Keywords:   mammalian evolution, chromosome arms, cognitive function, sexual dimorphism, sex chromosomes

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