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Vertebrate Sex Chromosomes


Description

During the last two decades of the 20th century, the study of chromosomes was enormously stimulated by the availability of various biological resources, valuable databases and new genetic and molecular biological techniques including PCR and fluorescent in situ hybridization. The simultaneous development of new and effective systems for targeting genes and gene transfer led to astonishing advances also in the study of vertebrate sex chromosomes. We now have considerable insight into their evolution, the dosage compensation mechanisms in mammals that involve chromosome-wide chromatin remodeling triggered by noncoding Xist RNA, and the unique properties of the human X chromosome which comprises many genes important for sex determination and reproduction. This thematic issue of Cytogenetic and Genome Research presents an excellent and highly authoritative compilation of current research findings related to vertebrate sex chromosomes. The contributions - all prepared by experts in the field - reflect both the technical advances and the enormous gain in knowledge achieved in recent years. Many of these papers also provide important historical perspectives while some contain insightful personal views of the authors. This special volume therefore represents a stimulating and critical state-of-the-art source of information for investigators and students in this fascinating field.


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