The X chromosome of hemipteran insects: Conservation, dosage compensation and sex-biased expression

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Insects of the order Hemiptera (true bugs) use a wide range of mechanisms of sex-determination, including genetic sex determination, paternal genome elimination and haplodiploidy. Genetic sex determination, the prevalent mode, is generally controlled by a pair of XY sex chromosomes or by an XX/X0 system, but different configurations that include additional sex chromosomes are also present. Although this diversity of sex determining systems has been extensively studied at the cytogenetic level, only the X chromosome of the model pea aphid A. pisum has been analyzed at the genomic level, and little is known about X-chromosome biology in the rest of the order.In this study we take advantage of published DNA- and RNA-seq data from three additional Hemiptera species to perform a comparative analysis of the gene content and expression of the X chromosome throughout this clade. We find that, despite showing evidence of dosage compensation, the X-chromosomes of these species show female-biased expression, and a deficit of male-biased genes, in direct contrast to the pea aphid X. We further detect an excess of shared gene content between these very distant species, suggesting that despite the diversity of sex determining systems, the same chromosomal element is used as the X throughout a large portion of the order.




Pal, A., & Vicoso, B. (2015). The X chromosome of hemipteran insects: Conservation, dosage compensation and sex-biased expression. Genome Biology and Evolution, 7(12), 3259–3268.

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