Amphibians have been solving this problem for millions of years through the replacement of their sex chromosomes, that is, their ability to, throughout their evolutionary history, use different chromosomes as sex determinants. Thanks to the collaboration of numerous institutions, including the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC), a research team led by the University of Lausanne has discovered that in the last 55 million years there have been at least 13 sex chromosome replacement events in a group of frogs that includes Iberian species such as the long-legged frog, Rana iberica, or the common green frog, Pelophylax perezi. “One of the most striking aspects of the research is the high replacement rate that we have detected by analyzing the sex chromosomes of these 24 species of frogs”, explains the MNCN researcher Íñigo Martínez-Solano.

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To discover the number of replacements, they have Christmas Island Email List reconstructed the evolutionary history of 24 species of frogs from the common ancestor from which they diversified over the last 55 million years (ma) and have characterized their sex chromosomes using genomic tools. “In addition to counting the number of replacement events in the 24 species studied, we have been able to verify that this process is not random, but that there are chromosomes that these species use more frequently as sex determinants. Specifically, chromosome 5 has intervened in five of the thirteen replacement events detected “, indicates Martínez-Solano. This research seems to indicate that the evolutionary force that produces this high percentage of replacement is the accumulation of deleterious mutations (harmful to the organism). “Other animal groups, such as birds or mammals,

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use other strategies to reduce the harmful effects of the accumulation of mutations in the sex chromosomes, but in the case of frogs and other amphibians the most common mechanism is the replacement of sex chromosomes. Why What happens? We think that the marked differences between the sexes in the recombination patterns of the sex chromosomes that we observe in amphibians have as a consequence the rapid accumulation of deleterious mutations, which is why there is a very strong selective pressure for their elimination “, concludes Martínez -SolanoBased on the study of the formation of the vinegar fly ( Drosophila melanogaster ) leg , researchers from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) and the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Center have managed to describe how gene regulation and mechanisms are related.

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