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Sex Determination: Why So Many Ways of Doing It?

Figure 5

Transitions versus differentiation of sex chromosomes.

Transitions between homomorphic sex chromosomes result from new masculinizing (M′) or feminizing (F′) mutations that invade an existing XY or ZW system to create a new chromosome pair (in grey) that harbors the sex-determining gene (additional transitional karyotypes are indicated by unshaded circles). XY→XY transitions result in the loss of the ancestral Y (and ZW→ZW transitions cause loss of the ancestral W). Transitions between XY and ZW systems result in some offspring that are homozygous for the Y (blue) or W (red) chromosome and are thus more likely if the chromosomes have similar gene content but become increasingly difficult if these chromosomes have degenerated (side boxes on left and right), causing YY and WW individuals to be less fit.

Figure 5