X Chromosome - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics

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Role of the X Chromosome in Sex Differentiation

The so-called sex chromosomes differentiate the sexes: females are XX and males XY, which is the basis for the development of a fetus into a girl or a boy (Figure 1). All other chromosomes (called autosomes) are present in two copies in both males and females. It is the presence of a Y chromosome that determines the male sex of a baby, because the Y carries a gene that induces undifferentiated gonads to turn into testes in the fetus. The number of X chromosomes does not change the sex of a baby. Indeed, people with a single X chromosome and no Y chromosome are females with Turner syndrome, a rare genetic disorder characterized by short stature and infertility. Conversely, people who have two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome are males with Klinefelter's syndrome, which includes tall stature and infertility.

Sex Chromosome Evolution

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This section contains 1,331 words
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Macmillan Science Library: Genetics
X Chromosome from Macmillan Science Library: Genetics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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