ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-030806-4
Comparative mapping of Z-orthologous genes in vertebrates: implications for the evolution of avian sex chromosomes
Nanda, I., Haaf, T., Schartl, M., Schmid, M., and Burt, D.W.
Sex chromosomes of birds and mammals are highly differentiated and share several cytological features. However, comparative gene mapping reveals extensive conserved synteny between the chicken Z sex chromosome and human chromosome 9 but not the human X sex chromosome, implying an independent origin of avian and mammalian sex chromosomes. To better understand the evolution of the avian Z chromosome we analysed the synteny of chicken Z-linked genes in zebrafish, which is the best-mapped teleost genome so far. Existing zebrafish maps do not support the existence of an ancestral Z linkage group in the zebrafish genome, whereas mammalian X-linked genes show at least some degree of synteny conservation. This is consistent with in situ hybridisation mapping data in the freshwater pufferfish, TETRAODON NIGROVIRIDIS where mammalian X-linked genes show a much higher degree of conserved synteny than human chromosome 9 or the avian Z chromosome. Collectively, these data argue in favour of a more recent evolution of the avian Z chromosome, compared with the mammalian X.