Table of Contents
International Journal of Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 989438, 20 pages
Review Article

Gene Duplication and the Genome Distribution of Sex-Biased Genes

Department of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, P.O. Box 19498, Arlington, TX 76019, USA

Received 29 December 2010; Revised 26 March 2011; Accepted 5 June 2011

Academic Editor: Rob Kulathinal

Copyright © 2011 Miguel Gallach et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In species that have two sexes, a single genome encodes two morphs, as each sex can be thought of as a distinct morph. This means that the same set of genes are differentially expressed in the different sexes. Many questions emanate from this statement. What proportion of genes contributes to sexual dimorphism? How do they contribute to sexual dimorphism? How is sex-biased expression achieved? Which sex and what tissues contribute the most to sex-biased expression? Do sex-biased genes have the same evolutionary patterns as nonbiased genes? We review the current data on sex-biased expression in species with heteromorphic sex chromosomes and comment on the most important hypotheses suggested to explain the origin, evolution, and distribution patterns of sex-biased genes. In this perspective we emphasize how gene duplication serves as an important molecular mechanism to resolve genomic clashes and genetic conflicts by generating sex-biased genes, often sex-specific genes, and contributes greatly to the underlying genetic basis of sexual dimorphism.