Conflict on the sex chromosomes: cause, effect, and complexity

Cold Spring Harb Perspect Biol. 2014 Oct 3;6(12):a017715. doi: 10.1101/cshperspect.a017715.


Intralocus sexual conflict and intragenomic conflict both affect sex chromosome evolution and can in extreme cases even cause the complete turnover of sex chromosomes. Additionally, established sex chromosomes often become the focus of heightened conflict. This creates a tangled relationship between sex chromosomes and conflict with respect to cause and effect. To further complicate matters, sexual and intragenomic conflict may exacerbate one another and thereby further fuel sex chromosome change. Different magnitudes and foci of conflict offer potential explanations for lineage-specific variation in sex chromosome evolution and answer long-standing questions as to why some sex chromosomes are remarkably stable, whereas others show rapid rates of evolutionary change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dosage Compensation, Genetic / physiology
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genetic Fitness / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Population Density
  • Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics*
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sex Chromosomes / genetics*
  • Sex Factors