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Labile sex expression in angiosperm species with sex chromosomes

Jos Käfer 1, * Marcos Méndez Sylvain Mousset 
* Corresponding author
1 Sexe et évolution
PEGASE - Département PEGASE [LBBE]
Abstract : Here, we review the literature on sexual lability in dioecious angiosperm species with well-studied sex chromosomes. We distinguish three types of departures from strict dioecy, concerning either a minority of flowers in some individuals (leakiness) or the entire individual, which can constantly be bisexual or change sex. We found that for only four of the 22 species studied, reports of lability are lacking. The occurrence of lability is only weakly related to sex chromosome characteristics (number of sex-linked genes, age of the non-recombining region). These results contradict the naive idea that lability is an indication of the absence or the recent evolution of sex chromosomes, and thereby contribute to a growing consensus that sex chromosomes do not necessarily fix sex determination once and for all. We discuss some implications of these findings for the evolution of sex chromosomes, and suggest that more species with well-characterized lability should be studied with genomic data and tools. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Sex determination and sex chromosome evolution in land plants’.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 3:24:42 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, April 3, 2022 - 3:24:33 AM

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Jos Käfer, Marcos Méndez, Sylvain Mousset. Labile sex expression in angiosperm species with sex chromosomes. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Royal Society, The, 2022, 377 (1850), ⟨10.1098/rstb.2021.0216⟩. ⟨hal-03624906⟩

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