Sex: Differences in mutation, recombination, selection, gene flow, and genetic drift

Philip W. Hedrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

99 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In many instances, there are large sex differences in mutation rates, recombination rates, selection, rates of gene flow, and genetic drift. Mutation rates are often higher in males, a difference that has been estimated both directly and indirectly. The higher male mutation rate appears related to the larger number of cell divisions in male lineages but mutation rates also appear gene- and organism-specific. When there is recombination in only one sex, it is always the homogametic sex. When there is recombination in both sexes, females often have higher recombination but there are many exceptions. There are a number of hypotheses to explain the sex differences in recombination. Sex-specific differences in selection may result in stable polymorphisms or for sex chromosomes, faster evolutionary change. In addition, sex-dependent selection may result in antagonistic pleiotropy or sexually antagonistic genes. There are many examples of sex-specific differences in gene flow (dispersal) and a number of adaptive explanations for these differences. The overall effective population size (genetic drift) is dominated by the lower sex-specific effective population size. The mean of the mutation, recombination, and gene flow rates over the two sexes can be used in a population genetics context unless there are sex-specific differences in selection or genetic drift. Sex-specific differences in these evolutionary factors appear to be unrelated to each other. The evolutionary explanations for sex-specific differences for each factor are multifaceted and, in addition, explanations may include chance, nonadaptive differences, or mechanistic, nonevolutionary factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2750-2771
Number of pages22
JournalEvolution
Volume61
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Fingerprint

Genetic Drift
Gene Flow
genetic drift
gender differences
Sex Characteristics
Genetic Recombination
recombination
gene flow
mutation
Mutation
Mutation Rate
gender
effective population size
Population Genetics
Population Density
Sex Preselection
pleiotropy
Sex Chromosomes
gene
rate

Keywords

  • Effective population size
  • Human diseases
  • mtDNA
  • X chromosome
  • Y chromosome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Ecology
  • Genetics

Cite this

Sex : Differences in mutation, recombination, selection, gene flow, and genetic drift. / Hedrick, Philip W.

In: Evolution, Vol. 61, No. 12, 12.2007, p. 2750-2771.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hedrick, Philip W. / Sex : Differences in mutation, recombination, selection, gene flow, and genetic drift. In: Evolution. 2007 ; Vol. 61, No. 12. pp. 2750-2771.
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