Genetics of Sex – Beyond Just Birds and Bees

Genetics Society of America journals “GENETICS"  and "G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics” publish special collection focusing on the biology of sex determination

Released: 16-Jun-2014 3:00 PM EDT
Embargo expired: 17-Jun-2014 9:00 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Genetics Society of America
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Citations Genetics June 2014 197:527-529

Newswise — BETHESDA, MD – June 17, 2014 – Sex is everywhere in nature. Whether it’s a male bird singing to mark his territory or a tiny yeast cell secreting chemicals to attract the opposite mating type, sex has profoundly shaped the appearance, behavior and evolution of many organisms. The genetic and evolutionary forces underlying sex differences and sex determination are crucial for understanding much of the natural world, including human biology.

In recognition of the importance of these topics, the Genetics Society of America journals GENETICS and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics announce an ongoing collection of research articles that discuss various elements relating to the genetics of sex. The first group of articles in the collection is published today in a special section of the June issues of both journals, accompanied by a commentary article.

By creating a special focus on the genetics of sex and bringing together related articles in one collection, the journals hope to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas between researchers working on related problems from different angles.

The inaugural group features research examining the evolutionary loss of Y-chromosomes, sexually antagonistic selection, switching between sexual and asexual reproduction in certain fungi, mechanisms preventing self-fertilization in plants, and the genesis of sex cells in nematodes and maize. The journals today also publish a commentary which illustrates the connections between sometimes-seemingly disparate topics related to sex-specific biology.

“The fundamental genetic differences between the sexes and how they arise continue to fascinate biologists,” says Michelle Arbeitman, biologist at Florida State University and one of the editors of the new collection. “We foresee these first papers as just the start of the conversation, illuminating discoveries both broad and deep.”

The collection includes research from Stanford University, University of Texas at Arlington, the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, University of Texas, Université Laval, University of California, Davis and University of Modena and Reggio Emilia.

The full collection can be found at:

M. Arbeitman, A. Kopp, M. Siegal and M. Van Doren. The Genetics of Sex: Exploring Differences. GENETICS June 2014 197:527-529; doi: 10.1534/genetics.114.165456

M. Kirkpatrick and R.F. Guerrero Signatures of sex-antagonistic selection on recombining sex chromosomes. GENETICS June 2014 197:531-541 doi:10.1534/genetics.113.156026

P.M. Checchi, K.S. Lawrence, M.V. Van, B.J. Larson, and J. Engebrecht Pseudosynapsis and Decreased Stringency of Meiotic Repair Pathway Choice on the Hemizygous Sex Chromosome of Caenorhabditis elegans Males. GENETICS June 2014 197:543-560 doi:10.1534/genetics.114.164152

H. Blackmon and J. Demuth Estimating Tempo and Mode of Y Chromosome Turnover: Explaining Y Chromosome Loss with the Fragile Y Hypothesis. GENETICS June 2014 197:561-572 doi:10.1534/genetics.114.164269

J-B. Leducq, C.C. Gosset, R. Gries, K. Calin, É. Schmitt, V. Castric,?and X. Vekemans Self-Incompatibility in Brassicaceae: Identification and Characterization of SRK-Like Sequences Linked to the S-Locus in the Tribe Biscutelleae G3:Genes|Genomes|Genetics June 2014 4:983-992 doi:10.1534/g3.114.010843

H. Zhang, R.L. Egger, T. Kelliher, D. Morrow, J. Fernandes, G-L. Nan, and V. Walbot Transcriptomes and Proteomes Define Gene Expression Progression in Pre-meiotic Maize Anthers. G3:Genes|Genomes|Genetics June 2014 4:993-1010 doi:10.1534/10.1534/g3.113.009738

L. Solieri, T. C. Dakal, P. Giudici, and S. Cassanelli Sex-determination system in the diploid yeast Zygosaccharomyces sapae. G3:Genes|Genomes|Genetics June 2014 4:1011-1025 doi:10.1534/10.1534/g3.114.010405

ABOUT GENETICS: Since 1916, GENETICS ( has published high quality, original research on a range of topics bearing on inheritance, including population and evolutionary genetics, complex traits, developmental and behavioral genetics, cellular genetics, gene expression, genome integrity and transmission, and genome and systems biology. A peer-reviewed and peer-edited publication of the Genetics Society of America, GENETICS is one of the world’s most cited journals in genetics and heredity.

ABOUT GSA: Founded in 1931, the Genetics Society of America (GSA) is the professional scientific society for genetics researchers and educators. The Society’s more than 5,000 members worldwide work to deepen our understanding of the living world by advancing the field of genetics, from the molecular to the population level. GSA promotes research and fosters communication through a number of GSA-sponsored conferences including regular meetings that focus on particular model organisms. GSA publishes two peer-reviewed, peer-edited scholarly journals: GENETICS, which has published high quality original research across the breadth of the field since 1916, and G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, an open-access journal launched in 2011 to disseminate high quality foundational research in genetics and genomics. The Society also has a deep commitment to education and fostering the next generation of scholars in the field. For more information about GSA, please visit Also follow GSA on Facebook at and on Twitter @GeneticsGSA.

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