Spermatogenesis and the Evolution of Mammalian Sex Chromosomes

Erica L. Larson, Emily E.K. Kopania, Jeffrey M. Good

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Developmental constraint and sexual conflict shape the evolution of heteromorphic sex chromosomes. These contrasting forces are perhaps strongest during spermatogenesis in species with XY males. In this review, we consider how the unique regulatory environment and selective pressures of spermatogenesis interact to impact sex chromosome evolution in mammals. We explore how each developmental phase of spermatogenesis influences sex chromosome gene content, structure, and rate of molecular evolution, and how these attributes may contribute to speciation. We argue that a developmental context is fundamental to understanding sex chromosome evolution and that an evolutionary perspective can shed new light on our understanding of sperm development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)722-732
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Genomic conflict
  • faster-X
  • hybrid male sterility
  • recombination
  • sex-biased expression
  • speciation


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