Extensive gene conversion drives the concerted evolution of paralogous copies of the SRY gene in European rabbits

Armando Geraldes, Teri Rambo, Rod A. Wing, Nuno Ferrand, Michael W. Nachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Scopus citations


The human Y chromosome consists of ampliconic genes, which are located in palindromes and undergo frequent gene conversion, and single-copy genes including the primary sex-determining locus, SRY. Here, we demonstrate that SRY is duplicated in a large palindrome in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Furthermore, we show through comparative sequencing that orthologous palindrome arms have diverged 0.40% between rabbit subspecies over at least 2 My, but paralogous palindrome arms have remained nearly identical. This provides clear evidence of gene conversion on the rabbit Y chromosome. Together with previous observations in humans, these results suggest that gene conversion is a general feature of the evolution of the mammalian Y chromosome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2437-2440
Number of pages4
JournalMolecular biology and evolution
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010



  • Oryctolagus cuniculus
  • SRY
  • Y chromosome
  • gene conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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