Special Issue "The Evolutionary Life Cycle of Sex Chromosomes"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Population and Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Leo W. Beukeboom

Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), University of Groningen, P.O. Box 11103, 9700 CC Groningen, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: evolutionary genetics; entomology; ecological and evolutionary genomics; evolution of reproductive modes; genetics of sex determination; life history evolution; insect pest control
Guest Editor
Mr. Martijn A. Schenkel

Groningen Institute for Evolutionary Life Sciences (GELIFES), University of Groningen, P.O. Box 11103, 9700 CC Groningen, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Interests: evolutionary ecology; evolutionary genetics and genomics; evolutionary theory; genomics of sex determination; reproductive parasitism; sex chromosome evolution; sexual selection; speciation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sex chromosomes represent a specialized component of the genome. They play an important role in basal processes such as sex determination, but are also often involved in emergent evolutionary phenomena such as speciation. How sex chromosomes are born, mature and die is a major question in contemporary evolutionary biology. Sex chromosomes are believed to evolve from an ordinary pair of autosomes, originating when an autosome pair acquires a sex-determining function. How and why this transition takes place remains largely unknown. Sex chromosomes undergo many changes, such as recombination suppression, degeneration by accumulation of repetitive DNA and transposons, dosage compensation to balance the gene products of degenerated genes, and gene trafficking to and from other chromosomes. This often yields a pair of highly-differentiated chromosomes, one of which exhibits the extensive decay characteristic of late-stage sex chromosomes. Eventually, this decrepit chromosome may even be lost, resulting in males and females having different numbers of chromosomes. Much remains to be discovered about the processes that shape sex chromosomes, but the revolution in genomics, transcriptomics and other related technologies allows us to study the evolution of sex chromosomes in unprecedented detail. This issue will address questions about the lifecycle of sex chromosomes across different organismal groups.

Prof. Dr. Leo W. Beukeboom
Mr. Martijn A. Schenkel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • autosomes
  • degeneration
  • dosage compensation
  • gene silencing
  • gene trafficking
  • heterochromatization
  • Hill-Robertson interference
  • heterogamety
  • homogamety
  • intralocus sexual conflict
  • linkage
  • Muller’s ratchet
  • mutation accumulation
  • recombination
  • sex chromosomes
  • sex determination
  • sexual antagonism
  • sexual selection
  • repetitive DNA
  • retrotransposons

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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