The genomic location of sexually antagonistic variation: some cautionary comments

Evolution. 2010 May;64(5):1510-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00898.x. Epub 2009 Nov 17.


Sexually antagonistic polymorphisms are polymorphisms in which the allele that is advantageous in one sex is deleterious in the other sex. In an influential 1984 paper, W. Rice hypothesized that such polymorphisms should be relatively common on the X chromosome (or on the W in female-heterogametic species) but relatively rare on the autosomes. Here, I show that there are plausible assumptions under which the reverse is expected to be true, and point out recent studies that give evidence for sexually antagonistic variation on the autosomes. Although more work is needed to resolve the issue, it is premature to conclude that the X chromosome is a "hot spot" for the accumulation of sexually antagonistic variation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Chromosome Mapping*
  • Empirical Research
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal*