Paper in Genes


Why new genes are leaving the X chromosome?

Qi Zhou’s group published a paper on the journal of Genes, by reanalyzing the published single-cell RNA-seq data of Drosophila testis. It was observed that new genes born during evolution, either through gene duplication of a pre-existing gene, or de novo evolution from non-coding sequences, are preferentially relocated onto the autosomes, if they are produced by a X-linked progenitor. This has led to the finding called ‘X gene traffic’ in both Drosophila and mammals. By using the single-cell RNA-seq data, Qi Zhou’s group showed that many newly generated genes tend to be expressed in the spermatocytes or spermatid, i.e., during late meiosis; while their progenitors tend to be expressed in the spermatogonia, early meiosis. This supports the view that meiotic sex inactivation, a process observed in both Drosophila and human, likely underlies the pattern of ‘X gene traffic’.

Link to paper